Meixia Shan


Van der Maasweg 9, 2629 HZ Delft 
Room: E2.140
Tel: *31 (0)15-2789629


COF-based Mixed Matrix Membranes for CO2 separation

The fast accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere is leading to a serious of global warming issues such as abnormal climate change and rising of sea levels. Moreover, when it comes to abundant hydrocarbon resources like natural gas or hydrogen, the presence of CO2 reduces the caloric power of these gases. Therefore, CO2 capture and separation processes are very important to protect the environment and for the effectively use of energy [1]. Traditional systems for gas separation in industry consume a large amount of energy and cause environmental problems. Membranes are promising candidates for gas separations as a result of the high selectivity and stability, low energy requirement and ease of operation[2]. Polymeric membranes possess advantages of mechanical properties, reproducibility and easy processing, but they cannot withstand high temperatures and aggressive chemical environments. Inorganic membranes such as zeolites, metal organic frameworks (MOF) and carbon molecular sieve can sustain severe conditions but they also present drawbacks such as brittleness, modest reproducibility and low surface-to-volume ratio. Mixed matrix membranes (MMM), consist of inorganic fillers dispersed in a polymer matrix, have been introduced to overcome the limitation of polymeric and inorganic membranes.

Covalent organic frameworks(COFs), composed of light elements linked by strong covalent bonds, have great potential applications in gas separation  due to their exceptional properties like permanent porosity, high surface area and high thermal stabilities.

Thus the main objective of my PhD project is to fabricate COF based mixed matrix membranes, characterize their structures, explore their CO2 separation performance and understand their separation mechanism . 

The fabrication method will be based on the mixed matrix membranes prepared by T. Rodenas et al. in our group[3-6]. As for gas separation performance of the MMMs, both the membrane morphology and the operational parameters will have great effect. Thus the investigation on one hand will be focused on the influence of fillers. The effect of chemical structure, the surface chemistry, the pore size of COFs materials on the gas separation performance of MMMs will be investigated. On the other hand, the effect of the loading of COFs in MMMs, the membrane thickness, the operation temperature and pressure will also be examined.


The Scholarship Council of China (CSC) is gratefully acknowledged for financial support.


[1] S. L. Qiu, M. Xue, G. S. Zhu. Chem. Soc. Rev., 2014, 43, 6116-6140.

[2] D. M. D’Alessandro, B. Smit, J. R. Long. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2010, 49, 6058-6082.

[3] T. Rodenas, M. van Dalen, E. García-Pérez, P. Serra-Crespo, B. Zornoza, F. Kapteijn. J. Gascon. Adv. Funct. Mater., 2014, 24, 249-256.

[4] T. Rodenas, M. van Dalen, P. Serra-Crespo, F. Kapteijn, J. Gascon. Microporous Mesoporous Mater., 2014, 192, 35-42.

[5] B. Zornoza, A. Martinez-Joaristi, P. Serra-Crespo, C. Tellez, J. Coronas, J. Gascon, F. Kapteijn. Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 9522-9524.

[6] T. Rodenas, I. Luz, G. Prieto, B. Seoane, H. Miro, A. Corma, F. Kapteijn, F. X. Llabrés i Xamena and J. Gascon. Metal-organic-framework nanosheets in polymer composite materials for gas separation applications. Nature Materials, 2014