“New Membrane Discovery through Transport Fundamentals”
Separations consume roughly 50% of U.S. industrial energy use, and molecularly-selective membranes can significantly reduce this number by retrofitting or replacing energy-intensive separation processes. A fundamental understanding of transport in new materials is critical to develop next-generation molecularly-selective membranes with excellent productivity and separation efficiency. This talk will discuss two examples of new membrane discovery that are facilitated by understanding fundamentals of molecular transport. The first example addresses propylene/propane separations using zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF)/polymer hybrid membranes. Analysis of molecular diffusion in the dispersed ZIF particles will be shown to provide a framework for membrane material discovery. Characterizations and performance evaluation of hybrid dense film membranes with significantly enhanced propylene/propane separation performance will be discussed. Next, formation of high-loading hybrid hollow fiber membranes with excellent scalability will be presented. The second example addresses upgrading of highly-contaminated natural gas using carbon molecular sieve (CMS) membranes. Development of CMS membranes with unprecedentedly-high carbon dioxide/methane selectivities will be discussed, again with a focus on fundamentals. Deconvolution of permeability will be used to understand the respective kinetic and thermodynamic contributions to ultra-high membrane selectivities. Hypothetical structural evolution of CMS morphology will be presented to explain substantially increased sorption selectivities in these ultra-selective membranes.

Seminar Flyer_Chen Zhang

Date(s) - Feb 16, 2018
10:00 am - 11:00 am


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