Hydrogen is a high-quality and renewable energy carrier produced primarily through steam reforming of fossil-based resources. The production of H2 is accompanied by the greenhouse gas byproduct, CO2. Membrane separation technology can be used to capture CO2 while efficiently and inexpensively producing pure H2.1
These high temperature carbon-capture operations require thermally-stable transport equipment. Few existing materials can withstand the high temperatures and aggressive environments needed for the distinctly important industrial gas carrier membranes.
Polybenzimidazoles are highly stable at temperatures well over 150°C. These aromatic polymers have been studied recently in applications such as separating effluent streams from water-gas shift reactors.2
While the most common polybenzimidazole polymer, m-PBI, is stable to up to 400°C, its limited solubility in common organic solvents presents a challenge in many industrial applications.3
Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and Virginia Tech investigated the influence of temperature on the gas transport properties of a series of polybenzimidazoles based on a newly synthesized series of tetraaminodiphenylsulfone, or TADPS, monomers.4 The resulting polymers have a higher glass transition temperature than m-PBI and are thermally stable to above 400°C.
To read more about the requirements and key parameters involved, as well as the results of the research, please download the case study now.
1Bitter, Johannes H. and Tashvigh, Akbar Asadi. Recent Advances in Polybenzimidazole Membranes for Hydrogen Purification. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 2022(61): 6125-6134. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.iecr.2c00645.
2Merkel, T.C., Zhou, M., et al. Carbon dioxide capture with membranes at an IGCC power plant. Journal of Membrane Science. 2012(389): 441-450
33 Lyoo, W.S., Choi, J.H., et al. Preparation of organo-soluble poly[(2,2’-m-phenylene)-5,5’-bibenzimidazole] with high yield by homogeneous nitration reaction. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 2000(78): 438-445.
4Stevens, Kevin A., Moon, Joshua D., et al. Influence of temperature on gas transport properties of tetraaminodiphenylsulfone (TADPS) based polybenzimidazoles. Journal of Membrane Science. 2020(593).
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.memsci.2019.117427" . Accessed September 2023.