Membrane separation for the (near) future
Membrane gas and vapor separations represent one of the pathways that can contribute to decarbonization and energy optimization in current production technologies. We have been long-term engaged in separating gas mixtures, primarily treating raw biogas from various sources to obtain alternative fuels such as CNG and capturing carbon dioxide from emissions, which has application potential in small-scale production facilities (waste incinerators, steel production, lime and cement production, etc.), taking into account the rising cost of emission permits and stricter emission limits. We study gas separation using commercially available membranes as well as custom-made membranes in various forms, prepared in our laboratory or in collaboration with institutions in the Czech Republic or abroad. We investigate the transport and separation properties of mainly polymeric membranes, including polymers with internal microporosity, membranes with targeted surface modifications, those incorporating ionic liquids or water-swollen composite films, even in complex mixtures. In the case of organic vapor separation using polymeric membranes, our research focuses on studying the influence of physicochemical structural characteristics of organic substances on their transport through the membrane and interaction with functional additives, such as ionic liquids. Concurrently, we explore the use of computational methods for indirectly determining parameters that are challenging to measure during separations. Finally, we are involved in the separation of chiral compounds using membranes, both experimentally and numerically, to gain a better understanding of key factors influencing selectivity.