Crosslinked Hydrophilic Membranes for Gas Separation

An energy efficient process for the separation of gases by selectively permeable membranes

The Need

To counteract economic and environmental problems due to the burning of fossil fuels, society has placed an emphasis on development of renewable energy sources. Some of these renewable energy sources rely on the separation or removal of acid gases, such as carbon dioxide, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen sulfide, and hydrochloric acid from other gases. Current technology that separate gases isolate the absorption and desorption functions, which reduces the efficiency of the process. To create renewable energy sources that are competitive with nonrenewable resources, the separation and removal of acidic gases must be faster and more efficient.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. W.S. Winston Ho, have developed selectively permeable membranes that separate and remove gaseous forms of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and/or hydrochloric acid from other gases. This technology is superior to industry standards, such as aqueous amine absorption and molecular sieve adsorption, because it combines the steps of absorption and desorption of the gas to the permeable membrane. By combining these into one step, the membrane overcomes thermodynamic equilibrium and capacity limitation, resulting in an increased efficiency of the device.

Commercial Applications

  • Membrane filtration
  • Biogas renewable energy
  • Fuel cells


  • Combines absorption and desorption steps of conventional technologies into one step; faster and better efficiency
  • Overcomes the thermodynamic equilibrium and capacity limitation
  • Avoids cumbersome operations such as pumping pressure between the absorber and desorber

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