Xinlei Liu


Van der Maasweg 9, 2629 HZ Delft
Room E2.140 

Tel: *31 (0) 15 27 84413

MOF mixed matrix membranes for CO2 capture

Recently, the excessive emission of CO2, which stems predominantly from the increasing combustion of fossil fuels, has generated widespread environmental concerns. With the current technology, the most effective method of CO2 capture is chemical absorption. However, this process consumes considerable energy and poses additional environmental concerns. [1] In contrast, membrane gas separation is considered to be one of the most attractive alternatives not only in terms of a relatively low energy consumption and ease of operation, but also because of environmental aspects. [1]

To date, although polymeric membranes dominate the membrane market for industrial gas separation, the poor chemical and thermal stability, and the known Robeson upper bound limitation of the existing polymeric membrane materials limits their application range. [1] Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs), consisting of composites of inorganic or organic fillers dispersed in polymer phase, are proposed to deliver both the promising performance benefits from embedded fillers and the economical processing features of polymers. [2, 3] Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), [4] a family of porous crystalline material, have emerged as outstanding fillers to construct MMMs in virtue of their rich chemistry and topological varieties. [5, 6] However, to achieve a higher separation performance and maximize the merits of MOF-MMMs, more efforts have to be denoted to these membranes. For instance, further studies on the compatibility between the filler and polymer phases are wanted since it plays an important role on the membrane performance and mechanical strength.

In this project, my research is targeting to understand the molecular-level interaction of the two phases in MOF-MMMs, and to develop an effective method for improving their compatibility. Finally, high performance MOF-MMMs in the forms of flat sheets and hollow fibers will be developed for CO2 capture. 

  1. B. Seoane, J. Coronas, I. Gascon, M. Etxeberria Benavides, O. Karvan, J. Caro, F. Kapteijn and J. Gascon, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2015, 44, 2421-2454.
  2. W. J. Koros and C. Zhang, Nat. Mater., 2017, 16, 289-297.
  3. J. Dechnik, J. Gascon, C. J. Doonan, C. Janiak and C. J. Sumby, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2017, doi: 10.1002/anie.201701109.
  4. H. Furukawa, K. E. Cordova, M. O’Keeffe and O. M. Yaghi, Science, 2013, 341, 1230444.
  5. T. Rodenas, I. Luz, G. Prieto, B. Seoane, H. Miro, A. Corma, F. Kapteijn, F. Llabre´s i Xamena and J. Gascon, Nat. Mater., 2015, 14, 48-55.
  6. X. L. Liu, Y. S. Li, G. Q. Zhu, Y. J. Ban, L. Y. Xu and W. S. Yang, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2011, 50, 10636-10639.


This research receives financial support from the M4CO2 project (608490) ( under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013).