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Plasticization-Enhanced Hydrogen Purification Using Polymeric Membranes

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Science  03 Feb 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5761, pp. 639-642
DOI: 10.1126/science.1118079

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Abstract

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.

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