The preparation and gas-separation performance of self-standing, high-flux, graphene oxide (GO) membranes is reported. Defect-free, 15–20 μm thick, mechanically stable, unsupported GO membranes exhibited outstanding gas-separation performance towards H2/CO2 that far exceeded the corresponding 2008 Robeson upper bound. Remarkable separation efficiency of GO membranes for H2 and bulky C3 or C4 hydrocarbons was achieved with high flux and good selectivity at the same time. On the contrary, N2 and CH4 molecules, with larger kinetic diameter and simultaneously lower molecular weight, relative to that of CO2, remained far from the corresponding H2/N2 or H2/CH4 upper bounds. Pore size distribution analysis revealed that the most abundant pores in GO material were those with an effective pore diameter of 4 nm; therefore, gas transport is not exclusively governed by size sieving and/or Knudsen diffusion, but in the case of CO2 was supplemented by specific interactions through 1) hydrogen bonding with carboxyl or hydroxyl functional groups and 2) the quadrupole moment. The self-standing GO membranes presented herein demonstrate a promising route towards the large-scale fabrication of high-flux, hydrogen-selective gas membranes intended for the separation of H2/CO2 or H2/alkanes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry