Professor Neil McKeown and colleagues from Cardiff University have published an article in the highly cited journal, Science on "An Efficient Polymer Molecular Sieve for Membrane Gas Separations". The paper explains how microporous polymers of extreme rigidity are required for gas-separation membranes that combine high permeability with selectivity. They describe how shape-persistent ladder polymers consisting of benzene rings fused together by inflexible bridged bicyclic units have excellent potential for making membranes suitable for large-scale gas separations of commercial and environmental relevance.
Neil McKeown's group at Cardiff is one of the six consortium partners on the EPSRC-funded Innovative Gas Separation for Carbon Capture (IGSCC) project. The other partners include the University of St Andrews, Manchester University, Imperial College London, University College London, and the University of Edinburgh, who coordinate the project. Further details on the research work of the IGSCC project can be found here.
The images show that reacting a monomer with dimethoxymethane in trifluoroacetic acid and then treating with water leads to a viscous polymer that can easily be cast into films. Copyright: Neil B. McKeown and Richard Malpass-Evans/Cardiff University.