Polymer membranes for hydrogen separations

John D. Perry, Kazukiyo Nagai, William J. Koros

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The development of a hydrogen-based economy would generate a substantial necessity for efficient means of collecting hydrogen with a relatively high purity. Membrane separations play a major role in the separation of hydrogen gas from various gas mixtures, and this article discusses the use of polymeric materials to produce these membranes. After a review of the historical use of polymeric membranes and some background information regarding mechanisms of gas transport in membranes, this article will review the work that has been done in the two major classes of hydrogen separation membranes: hydrogen-selective membranes and hydrogen-rejective membranes. In hydrogen-selective membranes, the very small size of the hydrogen molecule is exploited to allow rapid diffusion of hydrogen through the membrane while excluding other gases. Hydrogen-rejective membranes use the significantly higher sorption of other gases to overcome the advantages of the small size of the hydrogen molecule. The discussion of these two types of membranes will be followed by a presentation of the current state of the art with regard to polymeric membranes for hydrogen separation and a discussion of the predictions for future applications and advancements in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-749
Number of pages5
JournalMRS Bulletin
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


  • Hydrogen
  • Membrane
  • Polymer

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