Nanostructured Polymer-Based Membranes for Gas Separation and Other Applications
Witopo Salim1 and W.S. Winston Ho1,2
1William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The Ohio State University, 151 West Woodruff Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210-1350, USA
2Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The Ohio State University, 2041 College Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1178, USA
Advances in nanotechnology in recent years enhance the R&D in nanostructured polymer-based membranes. This work reports on the recent developments of the nanostructured polymer-based membranes, formed by incorporating nanomaterials and/or porous membranes with nanoscale pores, for gas separations, reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, and other potential applications. Significant progress has been made on the development of nanostructured membranes for gas separations, particularly for CO2 separations from H2, N2 and CH4. A polymer/zeolite composite nanostructured membrane is presented as an example of the potential of nanostructured polymer-based membrane for the gas separation application of CO2 capture from flue gas in power plants. Continued improvements on the nanostructured reverse osmosis polyamide membranes via interfacial polymerization have been made along with the efforts on developing novel nanostructured membranes for desalination. The modification of both the surface and bulk properties of the ultrafiltration membranes by nanomaterials can improve the membrane performance and open up the possibility of new applications in addition to those for the current ultrafiltration membrane processes. Amine-containing membranes composed of a selective layer on nanoporous polysulfone support are presented as an example of the application of ultrafiltration membrane for the CO2 separation from a synthesis gas stream containing CO2 and H2S, i.e., for hydrogen purification for fuel cells or for pre-combustion CO2 capture in IGCC (integrated gasification combined cycle) technology. Similarly, amine-containing membranes composed of a selective layer on nanoporous polyethersulfone support are another example of the application of ultrafiltration membrane for CO2 capture from flue gas.