Hyperaging-induced H2-selective thin-film composite membranes with enhanced submicroporosity toward green hydrogen supply

Tae Hoon Lee, Marcel Balcik, Byung Kwan Lee, Bader Ghanem, Ingo Pinnau, Ho Bum Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Repurposing the existing natural gas infrastructure by blending hydrogen with methane (i.e., Hythane) is one feasible option to develop a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain, although this process requires extraction of the hydrogen from Hythane after distribution. Membrane technology is a potential solution to tackle this application given its many advantages over other separation methods. However, industrial use of developed membrane materials has been challenging due to several practical concerns; for example, insufficient separation abilities and accelerated physical aging of thin membranes in high-free-volume glassy polymers. Herein, we propose an integrated strategy to develop highly H2-selective thin-film composite (TFC) membranes by tuning the aging behavior of polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIM) thin films. Detailed gas permeation and two-dimensional (2D) grazing incidence wide-angle x-ray scattering (GIWAXS) studies reveal that triptycene-based PIM TFC membranes can exploit beneficial aging effects resulting from aging-induced enhancement in submicroporosity. To directly deploy TFC membranes, a simple post-treatment step was introduced to increase the aging rate, termed “hyperaging.” The hyperaged TFC membranes exhibited high H2/CH4 mixed-gas selectivity (>100), moderate H2 permeance (∼100 GPU), and good long-term stability when tested using a binary mixture with dilute H2 concentration (20 mol%), demonstrating promise for downstream hydrogen extraction toward green hydrogen supply.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121438
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
StatePublished - Jan 27 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-01-30
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (No. 2022R1A5A1032539).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Filtration and Separation
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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