RTI scientist Lora Toy displays the newly developed copolymer membrane forms the basis of a purification process that could make hydrogen a more affordable energy alternative.
______________________________________________________________________________________Researchers at RTI international and the University of Texas at Austin have discovered a means of producing hydrogen that they said could help make hydrogen a viable energy alternative.

The team has developed molecularly engineered rubbery membranes that separate larger gas molecules such as carbon dioxide from hydrogen. “These reverse-selective materials purify hydrogen more efficiently than existing methods, producing hydrogen at high pressures without requiring expensive recompression,” RTI said in a statement.

“One of the major barriers to hydrogen as alternative motor fuel has been the cost of purifying it,” said Raghubir Gupta, director of energy research and development at RTI and co-author on the paper about the research published in the journal Science. “Because of the high production volume of hydrogen, even a small improvement in purification efficiency could substantially reduce costs. These next-generation membranes could be a huge step in forming the basis of a purification process that makes hydrogen an affordable energy alternative.”

The study was paid for by the U.S. Department of Energy as well as the National Science Foundation.

RTI: www.rti.org