Maximizing the right stuff: The trade-off between membrane permeability and selectivity

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Science  16 Jun 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6343, eaab0530
DOI: 10.1126/science.aab0530

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Membranes are widely used for gas and liquid separations. Historical analysis of a range of gas pair separations indicated that there was an upper bound on the trade-off between membrane permeability, which limits flow rates, and the selectivity, which limits the quality of the separation process. Park et al. review the advances that have been made in attempts to break past this upper bound. Some inspiration has come from biological membranes. The authors also highlight cases where the challenges lie in areas other than improved separation performance.

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