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Crosslinkable nanoparticle-filled poly(4-methyl-2-pentyne) [PMP] membranes were cast from carbon tetrachloride solutions containing PMP, hydrophobic fumed silica, and 4,4¡¯-(hexafluoroisopropylidene)diphenyl azide [HFBAA]. The composite membranes were crosslinked by UV irradiation at room temperature. Low levels of the bis azide were effective in rendering the membranes insoluble in cyclohexane and carbon tetrachloride, both good solvents for PMP. The process is simple and effective, and thus PMP can be easily converted to mechanically stable membranes. Compared to the pure PMP membrane, the permeability of the crosslinked membrane is initially reduced for all tested gases due to the crosslinking. By adding nanoparticles, the permeability is again increased, crosslinking is successful in maintaining the permeability and selectivity of PMP over time.
The most widely used method of hydrogen production, steam methane reforming, yields a product stream consisting mainly of hydrogen (H2) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Purification of this product is currently accomplished using amine-based acid gas scrubbers or pressure swing adsorption technology. Membranes are well suited to bulk CO2 removal and offer a viable alternative to these established technologies. This review considers one type of such membranes, polymeric facilitated transport membranes. These membranes selectively permeate CO2 by means of a reversible reaction between the gas and the membrane material. In addition, the membrane provides a barrier to H2 permeation. The result is removal of the CO2 contaminant and recovery of the H2 product at high pressure, eliminating the need for recompression prior to use or storage. A wide range of polymeric materials have been investigated, including ion-exchange resins, hydrophilic polymers blended with CO2-reactive salts, polyelectrolytes, fixed-site carrier polymers, and biomimetic materials. This review provides a description of the reaction chemistry of facilitated transport, a summary of membrane permselective properties, and suggestions for future research efforts.
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