CHEMICAL SCIENCE

A new trend in crude hydrogen purification! ——Research progress of inorganic microporous membranes


June 2, 2022,Nano Research Energy(https://www.sciopen.com/journal/2790-8119) Editorial Board,Professor Shui Jianglan, Beihang UniversityPublished an updated review titled “Inorganic microporous membranes for hydrogen separation: challenges and solutions”, which is comprehensively presentedInorganic microporous membrane for hydrogen separationLatest research progress.

Figure 1. Four inorganic microporous membranes for hydrogen storage purification

Hydrogen is the carrier of hydrogen energy and the key material for achieving the goal of “carbon neutrality”. presentlyMore than 90% of the world’s commercial hydrogen is produced through fossil fuel reformingThe gas produced usually contains impurities such as N2, CO, CH4, CO2, etc., which are difficult to meet the requirements of semiconductors, aerospace fuels, fuel cells and other applications, so it is difficultIt is necessary to separate and purify this crude hydrogen。 The main methods of hydrogen purification includePressure swing adsorption (PSA), cryogenic separation, metal hydride separation and membrane separation。 PSA isUtilize solid adsorbents(such as zeolite and silica gel) to achieve hydrogen separation by pressure-dependent adsorption of different polar gases. Under high pressure, polar impurity gases are adsorbed, and non-polar hydrogen molecules are recovered at the top of the adsorption column with a purity of 99.999%. PSA is one of the mature and popular technologies in the industry, thoughHydrogen recovery is low(~75%)。 Low temperature separation can be divided intoLow temperature condensation and low temperature adsorptionBoth take advantage of the ultra-low boiling point properties of hydrogen. The former condenses low boiling point impurities into a liquid phase, while the latter selectively adsorbs impurities through an adsorbent. Cryogenic separation technology is suitableLarge-scale hydrogen separation of 99% medium purity, but because of thatLarge investment in equipment and high energy consumption, which limits its widespread use. Metal hydrides have a high selectivity for hydrogen, using hydrogen storage materials to adsorption and separate H2, havingHigh purity, simple operation, low energy consumption and low material costsand so on, but usually appearsThe hydrogen release is incomplete and the gas processing capacity is smallIt is difficult to achieve large-scale production.

Compared with the above three methods, the microporous membrane separation technique hasEnvironmental protection, energy saving, simple operation, low costand other advantages, is a highly competitive crude hydrogen purification technology. With the vigorous development of materials science and chemical science, inorganic microporous membrane hydrogen separation technology has made great progress in recent years. In the 1960s, DuPont pioneered the use of polyester hollow fiber membranes to separate H2/He. In 1990, the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a polysulfone composite hollow fiber membrane, which can recover hydrogen from catalytic cracking gas with a hydrogen content of only 40% to 60%, and the recovery rate is more than 85%. In recent years, by optimizing the preparation process and greatly improving the performance of traditional membranes, hydrogen separation membrane materials have made great progress. New membrane materials and processing technologies continue to emerge, providing inspiration for the design and preparation of hydrogen separation membranes, and representative materials such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), graphene oxide, and MXene nanosheets have been used for hydrogen separation. According to the separation mechanism, the separation membrane can be divided intoMicroporous membraneandDense non-porous membraneDense membrane based on solution diffusion mechanismUnlimited selectivity to H2 can be achieved, but is limited by the low permeability of the gas. Microporous membrane due to itsHigh porosity, clear pore structure, narrow pore size distributionSuch advantages, is currently widely used in gas separation. High quality and durability are essential for the practical application of microporous membranes. However, synthesizing structurally intact and stable membranes is a huge challenge.

This article summarizesRecent advances in the design and preparation of hydrogen separation of inorganic microporous membranes, highlightedSynthesis strategies to improve membrane structural integrity, continuity and stability。 The authors briefly introduce the three membrane separation mechanisms and elaborate on themZeolite, silica, carbon and metal-organic skeleton membranes are challenged in the synthesis and corresponding solutions。 Finally, this paper looks forward to the development of ultra-thin two-dimensional microporous membranes.

Related paper information:

Ahui Hao, Xin Wan, Xiaofang Liu, Ronghai Yu, Jianglan Shui. Inorganic microporous membranes for hydrogen separation: challenges and solutions. Nano Res. Energy 2022, DOI: 10.26599/NRE.2022.9120013. https://doi.org/10.26599/NRE.2022.9120013

As a sister journal of Nano Research, Nano Research Energy (ISSN: 2791-0091; e-ISSN: 2790-8119; Official website: https://www.sciopen.com/journal/2790-8119It was launched in March 2022 and co-edited by Professor Qu Liangti of Tsinghua University and Professor Chunyi Zhi of the City University of Hong Kong. Nano Research Energy is an international multidisciplinary, all-English open access journal, focusing on the cutting-edge research and application of nanomaterials and nanoscience technology in new energy-related fields, benchmarking against the top international energy journals, and committed to publishing high-level original research and review papers. Submissions are welcome, and APC fees will be waived until 2023. Please contact NanoResearchEnergy@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn for submissions.

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