Novel high performance poly(: P -phenylene benzobisimidazole) (PBDI) membranes fabricated by interfacial polymerization for H2 separation

Meixia Shan, Xinlei Liu*, Xuerui Wang, Zilong Liu, Hodayfa Iziyi, Swapna Ganapathy, Jorge Gascon, Freek Kapteijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Membranes with high selectivity and permeance are needed to reduce energy consumption in hydrogen purification and pre-combustion CO2 capture. Polybenzimidazole (PBI) is one of the leading membrane materials for this separation. In this study, we present superior novel supported PBI (poly(p-phenylene benzobisimidazole), PBDI) membranes prepared by a facile interfacial polymerization (IP) method. The effect of IP reaction duration, operating temperature and pressure on membrane separation performance was systematically investigated. The best performance was achieved for membranes prepared in a 2 h reaction time. The resulting membranes display an ultrahigh mixed-gas H2/CO2 selectivity of 23 at 423 K together with an excellent H2 permeance of 241 GPU, surpassing the membrane performance of conventional polymers (the 2008 Robeson upper bound). These separation results, together with the facile manufacture, pressure resistance, long-term thermostability (>200 h) and economic analysis, recommend the PBDI membranes for industrial use in H2 purification and pre-combustion CO2 capture. Besides, PBDI membranes possess high selectivities towards H2/N2 (up to 60) and H2/CH4 (up to 48) mixtures, indicating their potential applications in ammonia synthesis and syngas production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8929-8937
Number of pages9
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Meixia Shan gratefully acknowledges the support from the China Scholarship Council.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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