Carbon hollow fiber membranes for a molecular sieve with precise-cutoff ultramicropores for superior hydrogen separation
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Carbon molecular sieve (CMS) membranes with rigid and uniform pore structures are ideal candidates for high temperature- and pressure-demanded separations, such as hydrogen purification from the steam methane reforming process. Here, we report a facile and scalable method for the fabrication of cellulose-based asymmetric carbon hollow fiber membranes (CHFMs) with ultramicropores of 3–4 Å for superior H2 separation. The membrane fabrication process does not require complex pretreatments to avoid pore collapse before the carbonization of cellulose precursors. A H2/CO2 selectivity of 83.9 at 130 °C (H2/N2 selectivity of >800, H2/CH4 selectivity of >5700) demonstrates that the membrane provides a precise cutoff to discriminate between small gas molecules (H2) and larger gas molecules. In addition, the membrane exhibits superior mixed gas separation performances combined with water vapor- and high pressure-resistant stability. The present approach for the fabrication of high-performance CMS membranes derived from cellulose precursors opens a new avenue for H2-related separations.