Technology - ALD-enabled High-Performance Membranes for Gas Separation

ALD-enabled High-Performance Membranes for Gas Separation

Polymer-based membranes developed with high H2/CO2 selectivity using facile surface nanoengineering for higher energy efficiency and lower cost production.


Isolation of CO2 from mixtures containing H2 is a critical gas separation, producing 94 million metric tons of H2 worldwide and valued at $170 billion in 2021.  This market will continue to grow with added regulations on CO production from increased international pressure for cleaner energy and reduced emissions, as exemplified in the Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle processes and the Net Zero by 2050 Initiative.  These processes all produce more H2 and require increased CO2 capture, so improvements in H2/CO2 separation efficiency lead directly to significant savings in H2 generation and power production.  Here, increased gas separation efficiency is provided through atomic layer deposition (ALD) technology to create customized polymer membranes, achieving advanced separations at low cost and higher energy efficiency.

Technology Overview:

This University at Buffalo invention provides an innovative approach to gas separation membranes using ALD-enabled facile surface nanoengineering to design polymer-based membranes for H2/CO2 separation.  The thermally stable membrane shows high Hpermeability and high H2/CO2 selectivity, leading to a low cost and energy efficient separation of hydrogen purification and CO2 capture from fossil fuel-derived power plants.  Additionally, these membranes can operate at the syngas processing temperature (150°C).  Unlike the conventional absorption or adsorption technology operating near ambient temperatures, the membrane technology developed here shows high energy efficiency and low operating cost.


  • Conventional competitive methods operate at 10°C or below, while these membranes operate up to 200°C and maintain thermal stability
  • High H2 permeability
  • High CO2/Hselectivity
  • High energy efficiency
  • Low operating cost


  • Hydrogen separation and carbon capture from hydrogen purification plants
  • Carbon dioxide capture from fossil fuel-derived power plants
  • Syngas purification for methanol plants
  • Hydrogen recovery from refinery off-gas and natural gas liquid production
  • Hydrogen recovery from mixtures with nitrogen in ammonia plants
  • Separation of hydrogen from mixtures with helium

Intellectual Property Summary:

US Provisional Patent Application 63/601,542 filed on November 21, 2023.

Stage of Development:

Laboratory demonstration through in vitro studies and analytical chemical analysis.

Licensing Status:

Available for licensing or collaboration.

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