Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.


Chemical Engineering

Committee Chair

Carreon, Moises A.

Author's Keywords

Bio-MOF membrane; Natural gas purification; CO2/CH4 separation; Novel membrane; Metal-organic framework; Preferential adsorption


Gas manufacture and works; Carbon dioxide mitigation; Natural gas


The separation of carbon dioxide from natural gas is of great interest from the environmental and energy perspective, respectively. From the environmental point of view, capturing CO2 effectively from power plants can have a positive impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. From the energy point of view, CO2 is an undesirable impurity in natural gas wells, with concentrations as high as 70%. Membrane technology can play a major role in making natural gas purification processes economically feasible. A novel membrane composed of Metal-organic-framework material Zn8(Ad)4(BPDC)6O 2Me2NH2 (Bio-MOF-1) was designed and created to effectively separate CO2/CH4 gas mixtures. The crystalline structure, composition, and textural properties of Bio-MOF-1 membranes were confirmed through x-ray diffractometry, CHN analysis, transmission electron microscopy, adsorption measurements and BET surface area. A secondary seeded growth approach was employed to prepare these membranes on tubular stainless steel porous support. These membranes displayed high CO2 permeances (11.5x10-7 mol/m2 s Pa) and moderate CO2/CH4 separation selectivities (1.2-2.5). The observed selectivities are above the Knudsen selectivity and indicate that the separation is promoted by preferential CO2 adsorption over CH4. This preferential adsorption is attributed to the presence of adeninate amino basic sites present in the Bio-MOF-1 structure. The work demonstrated shows the feasibility of the development of a novel type of membrane that could be promising for diverse molecular gas separations.