Considering the high potential of hydrogen (H2) as a clean energy carrier, the implementation of high performance and cost-effective biohydrogen (bioH2) purification techniques is of vital importance, particularly in fuel cell applications. In this context, membrane technology is a potentially energy-saving solution to obtain high-quality biohydrogen. The most promising poly(ionic liquid) (PIL) - ionic liquid (IL) composite membranes previously studied by our group for CO2/N2 separation, containing pyrrolidinium-based PILs with fluorinated or cyano-functionalized anions, were chosen as starting point to explore the potential of PIL–IL membranes for CO2/H2 separation. The CO2 and H2 permeation properties at the typical conditions of biohydrogen production (T =308 K and 100 kPa of feed pressure) were measured and discussed. PIL–IL composites prepared with [C(CN)3]– anion showed higher CO2/H2 selectivities and H2 diffusivities compared to those containing [NTf2]– anion. All the membranes revealed CO2/H2 separation performances above the upper bound for this specific separation, highlighting the composite incorporating 60 wt% of [C2mim][C(CN)3] IL.
drogen purification; CO2/H2 separation; PIL–IL composite membranes; gas permeation properties
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