A Study of the Synthesis of the Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework Membrane ZIF-11
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With increasing energy consumption and fossil fuels being the primary energy source, there is need to invest in alternative sources of energy. Hydrogen gas (H2) is a promising possibility because it is inexhaustible, efficient, low cost, and non-polluting. One of the greatest expenses in the production of hydrogen gas is in the separation and purification process to rid H2 of any contaminants. Because of this, there is an increased interest in developing a cost-effective method to purify Hydrogen. Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework (ZIF) membranes offer great potential for energy efficient and highly effective gas separation processes. ZIFs are microporous crystal structures, belonging to the family of metal organic frameworks (MOFs), that are highly chemically and thermally stable, and have uniformly distributed and sized pores, making them ideal candidates for gas separation. Demonstration of a general method for ZIF membrane synthesis is desired. ZIF-11 membranes are produced by growing ZIF-11 crystals, synthesized by mixing zinc nitrate hexahydrate and benzimidazole in a diethylformamide solution, on α-alumina (Al2O3) supports. The process takes between 4 and 8 hours at a temperature of 100 °C. ZIF-11 crystals were synthesized in powder form and characterized using XRay diffraction (XRD). Membranes were synthesized, examined for defects using an optical microscope, and characterized by X-Ray diffraction. The results suggest that a general process for ZIF membrane synthesis has been developed, though a recipe for consistent ZIF-11 synthesis needs to be developed. Further experiments should be done to create large well-intergrown crystals on the membrane, and hydrogen gas permeation testing of ZIF-11 membranes should be investigated for eventual industrial applications.
Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework
Thorkelson, John 1988- (2011). A Study of the Synthesis of the Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework Membrane ZIF-11. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from