Gas Separation Membranes

A polymeric organosilica membrane for separating hydrogen and/or helium from other gases, including hydrocarbons.


Hydrogen (H2) is an important chemical with multiple applications, including use as a clean fuel in transportation.  Given that the vast majority of H2 is produced from syngas via steam-reforming or gasification of fossil fuels, CO2 contamination is inevitable, resulting in a demand for H2/CO2 separation.  The complexity and energy requirements seen with leading CO2 removal technologies such as physical and pressure swing adsorption processes have led to the development of membrane technologies, which promise high energy efficiency and low cost.  However, inorganic membranes, such as silica and ceramic, are often challenging to produce in large scale without defects.

Technology Overview:

This invention provides a facile and scalable process for producing novel organosilica membranes that possess superior H2 permeance and H2/CO2 selectivity at industrially relevant conditions.  Both the permeance and selectivity of these membranes can be easily tuned through modification of polymer thickness.  In one demonstration, a mixed-gas H2 permeance of 910 GPU and H2/CO2 selectivity of 32 at 200°C may meet the target set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for pre-combustion CO2 capture (i.e., <30% cost increase for electricity generation).


When compared to H2-selective membranes such as Proteus™ and Polyimide, the organosilica membranes of the present invention demonstrate superior permeance and selectivity at a cheaper cost.


  • CO2 capture from syngas
  • Hydrogen recovery
  • Helium separation

Intellectual Property Summary:

US Provisional Patent Application 62/962,809 filed January 17, 2020.

Stage of Development:

Prototype demonstration.

Licensing Status:

Available for licensing or collaboration.

Patent Information: