Molecularly Engineering Polymeric Membranes for Carbon Capture

Chemical Engineering Graduate Seminar

Speaker: Professor Haiqing Lin, University at Buffalo.

Membrane technology has emerged as an important separation process for CO2 capture from fossil fuel-based plants and may contribute to the solutions to this enormous challenge after the successful tackle of seawater desalination with reverse osmosis membranes. Conventional membrane material designs often focus on rigid polymers with strong size sieving ability to enhance diffusivity selectivity, which, however, often lowers gas permeability, limiting its competitiveness over other separation technologies. In this presentation, I will describe our recent effort in designing new polymer architectures to circumvent this conundrum. First, I will describe the design and synthesis of highly polar polymers containing ether oxygens with a strong affinity toward CO2 for CO2/N2 separation (required for post-combustion carbon capture). The exploration of specific interactions between the penetrant and membranes can improve gas selectivity without decreasing gas permeability. These polymers are prepared from 1,3-dioxolane and contain higher ether oxygen content than poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO), a leading material for CO2/N2 separation, and thus, they exhibit more superior CO2/N2 separation properties than PEO-based membrane materials. Second, I will describe the engineering of free volumes by introducing bottlenecks to enhance the size-sieving ability and microcavities to increase gas diffusivity for H2/CO2 separation (needed for precombustion carbon capture), as exampled by in situ growth of metal-organic materials in polybenzimidazole (PBI) and carbonization. The presentation will describe the performance of these advanced materials when challenged with simulated gas and the relationship between structure and gas transport properties.


Dr. Haiqing Lin received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 and then joined Membrane Technology and Research, Inc. (MTR) as a Senior Research Scientist.  He led projects on natural gas clean-up and CO2/H2 separation membranes (such as Polaris™ membranes).  Dr. Lin joined University at Buffalo (UB) as an assistant professor in 2013 and was promoted to a professor in 2021.  His research focuses on advanced membranes for gas separation and water purification.  He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award in 2016, the Innovation Award from the AIChE Separation Division in 2020, and SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities in 2022.


Professor Haiqing Lin

Event Quick Information

29 Nov, 2022
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
KAUST, Bldg. 9, Level 2, Lecture Hall 2