The Open Fuels & Energy Science Journal


ISSN: 1876-973X ― Volume 11, 2018

Characterization of a Polymeric Membrane for the Separation of Hydrogen in a Mixture with CO2

Dionisio H. Malagón-Romero1, *, Alexander Ladino2, Nataly Ortiz1, Liliana P. Green1
1 Semillero de Energía y Termofluidos, GEAMEC Research Group, Universidad Santo Tomas, Bogotá D.C., Colombia
2 Research Group of Fatigue and Surfaces, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia


Hydrogen is expected to play an important role as a clean, reliable and renewable energy source. A key challenge is the production of hydrogen in an economically and environmentally sustainable way on an industrial scale. One promising method of hydrogen production is via biological processes using agricultural resources, where the hydrogen is found to be mixed with other gases, such as carbon dioxide. Thus, to separate hydrogen from the mixture, it is challenging to implement and evaluate a simple, low cost, reliable and efficient separation process. So, the aim of this work was to develop a polymeric membrane for hydrogen separation. The developed membranes were made of polysulfone via phase inversion by a controlled evaporation method with 5 wt % and 10 wt % of polysulfone resulting in thicknesses of 132 and 239 micrometers, respectively. Membrane characterization was performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and ASTM D882 tensile test. Performance was characterized using a 23 factorial experiment using the time lag method, comparing the results with those from gas chromatography (GC). As a result, developed membranes exhibited dense microstructures, low values of RMS roughness, and glass transition temperatures of approximately 191.75 °C and 190.43 °C for the 5 wt % and 10 wt % membranes, respectively. Performance results for the given membranes showed a hydrogen selectivity of 8.20 for an evaluated gas mixture 54% hydrogen and 46% carbon dioxide. According to selectivity achieved, H2 separation from carbon dioxide is feasible with possibilities of scalability. These results are important for consolidating hydrogen production from biological processes.

Keywords: Hydrogen separation, Phase inversion precipitation, Polymeric membranes, Biofuels, Renewable energy, Biohydrogen.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2016
Volume: 9
First Page: 126
Last Page: 136
Publisher Id: TOEFJ-9-126
DOI: 10.2174/1876973X01609010126

Article History:

Received Date: 05/07/2016
Revision Received Date: 09/11/2016
Acceptance Date: 09/11/2016
Electronic publication date: 27/12/2016
Collection year: 2016

© Malagón-Romero et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Semillero de Energía y Termofluidos, GEAMEC Research Group, Universidad Santo Tomas Cr 9 No 51-11, Bogotá D.C., Colombia; Tel: 57-3012026284; E-mail:

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