par- 30 mars 2015
University of Twente - The Netherlands
" Nanostructured polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane hybrid membranes "
Here, we present polyhedral silsesquioxane-based membranes for gas separation at elevated temperatures and pressures. Membranes capable of operation under such conditions are a key enabling step for integration in large-scale chemical processes and advanced energy-production technologies. The exceptional behavior of our hybrid membranes originates from the homogeneous distribution of organic and inorganic moieties on the molecular level, and the hyper-cross-linked nature of the material. The moderated molecular mobility allows for operation at elevated temperatures, where purely polymeric membranes suffer a loss in permeability and selectivity due to enhanced chain mobility. Our synthesis approach allows for large-scale and defect-free production of these ultrathin POSS based membranes. The development of these membranes has significant implications for the operating range at which the membranes can be used for applications such as steam reforming, the water–gas shift reaction and dehydrogenation of hydrocarbons. In addition, we believe our synthesis approach will facilitate the use of nanoscale hybrid materials for large-scale applications.