Rubbery material for purifying hydrogen

Materials World magazine
1 Mar 2006

Researchers from the chemical engineering group at the University of Texas, USA, have developed a rubbery material that can purify hydrogen efficiently in its most usable form for fuel cells and oil refining.

Dr Benny Freeman and his laboratory staff designed the membrane material and tested its ability, with colleagues at Research Triangle Institute (RTI) in Research Triangle Park, USA, to successfully separate hydrogen from carbon dioxide and other contaminant gases. This could lower the costs of purifying hydrogen for hydrogen-fueled vehicles. The membrane material could also replace an expensive step in current petrochemical processing, or reduce its energy requirements.

The membrane was tested under conditions that mimic those routinely used by the petrochemical industry to refine petroleum components. The membrane differs structurally and functionally from previous options, with a key advantage being its ability to allow hydrogen to remain compressed at high pressure.