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Graphene-Based Membranes for CO2/CH4 Separation: Key Challenges and Perspectives

Singapore Membrane Technology Center, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637141, Singapore
School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637459, Singapore
Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon 305-338, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(14), 2784;
Received: 10 June 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 10 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Performance Nanocomposite Membranes and Their Applications)
PDF [2989 KB, uploaded 10 July 2019]


Increasing demand to strengthen energy security has increased the importance of natural gas sweetening and biogas upgrading processes. Membrane-based separation of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) is a relatively newer technology, which offers several competitive advantages, such as higher energy-efficiency and cost-effectiveness, over conventional technologies. Recently, the use of graphene-based materials to elevate the performance of polymeric membranes have attracted immense attention. Herein, we do not seek to provide the reader with a comprehensive review of this topic but rather highlight the key challenges and our perspectives going ahead. We approach the topic by evaluating three mainstream membrane designs using graphene-based materials: (1) nanoporous single-layer graphene, (2) few- to multi-layered graphene-based stacked laminates, and (3) mixed-matrix membranes. At present, each design faces different challenges, including low scalability, high production cost, limited performance enhancement, and the lack of robust techno-economic review and systematic membrane design optimization. To help address these challenges, we have mapped out a technology landscape of the current graphene-based membrane research based on the separation performance enhancement, commercial viability, and production cost. Accordingly, we contend that future efforts devoted to advancing graphene-based membranes must be matched by progress in these strategic areas so as to realize practical and commercially relevant graphene-based membranes for CO2/CH4 separation and beyond. View Full-Text
Keywords: graphene-based material; CO2 separation; mixed-matrix membrane; Findex; Robeson upper bound; graphene-based laminate; single-layer graphene graphene-based material; CO2 separation; mixed-matrix membrane; Findex; Robeson upper bound; graphene-based laminate; single-layer graphene

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Goh, K.; Karahan, H.E.; Yang, E.; Bae, T.-H. Graphene-Based Membranes for CO2/CH4 Separation: Key Challenges and Perspectives. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 2784.

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