Plasticization-enhanced hydrogen purification using polymeric membranes
Polymer membranes are attractive for molecular-scale separations such as hydrogen purification because of inherently low energy requirements. However, membrane materials with outstanding hydrogen separation performance in feed streams containing high-pressure carbon dioxide and impurities such as hydrogen sulfide and water are not available. We report highly permeable, reverse-selective membrane materials for hydrogen purification, as exemplified by molecularly engineered, highly branched, cross-linked poly(ethylene oxide). In contrast to the performance of conventional materials, we demonstrate that plasticization can be harnessed to improve separation performance.