Development of advanced porous materials and processes for hydrogen/methane separation under the natural gas pipeline conditions


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The key research goal in this project is:

  • To develop efficient technologies based on novel porous materials (such as metal-organic frameworks, MOFs, and zeolites) and adsorption to separate H2 from H2/CH4 pipeline mixtures under realistic conditions at low temperatures.

The details

Hydrogen (H2) is the ultimate clean energy and is currently primarily produced by steam reforming of hydrocarbons (mainly natural gas) and electrolysis. The high availability of surplus renewable electricity (from solar and wind) has enriched the source of renewable H2 significantly.

The storage and distribution of H2 is a major challenge due to the difficulty of liquefaction. Existing natural gas pipelines have been suggested as a transport option as these are readily accessible and economical. However, the downstream separation of H2 from methane (CH4) requires novel technologies to be developed for pipeline usage to be feasible.

This project joins the expertise of the Universities of Melbourne and Manchester to contribute to the fundamental shift to ‘a clean and secure energy future’. The experimental project includes the synthesis and modification of novel porous materials, investigation on adsorption behaviours using the gravimetric and breakthrough methods, and process development based on the materials developed.

The graduate researcher on this project is: Jining Guo

Supervision team

First published on 1 July 2022.

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