Hydrogen energy systems are recognized as a promising solution for the energy shortage and environmental pollution crises. To meet the increasing demand for hydrogen, various possible systems have been investigated for the production of hydrogen by efficient and economical processes. Because of its advantages of being renewable and environmentally friendly, biomass processing has the potential to become the major hydrogen production route in the future. Membrane technology provides an efficient and cost-effective solution for hydrogen separation and greenhouse gas capture in biomass processing. In this review, the future prospects of using gas separation membranes for hydrogen production in biomass processing are extensively addressed from two perspectives: (1) the current development status of hydrogen separation membranes made of different materials and (2) the feasibility of using these membranes for practical applications in biomass-derived hydrogen production. Different types of hydrogen separation membranes, including polymeric membranes, dense metal membranes, microporous membranes (zeolite, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), silica, etc.) are systematically discussed in terms of their fabrication methods, gas permeation performance, structure stability properties, etc. In addition, the application feasibility of these membranes in biomass processing is assessed from both practical and economic perspectives. The benefits and possibilities of using membrane reactors for hydrogen production in biomass processing are also discussed. Lastly, we summarize the limitations of the currently available hydrogen membranes as well as the gaps between research achievements and industrial application. We also propose expected research directions for the future development of hydrogen gas membrane technology.
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