While hydrogen is one of the most abundantly present elements in a vast variety if materials and molecules on Earth and also happens to be a highly clean source of fuel, it does not exist naturally in its pure form. Thus it is required to be separated from other elements that it bonds with. For this, a number of complex or lengthy procedures are required like introducing an electric current in water to split the hydrogen and oxygen atoms in water molecules or filtering through a membrane a gaseous mixture that contains hydrogen so as to separate hydrogen from other atoms.
The gas separation procedure with the help of a membrane is known to be a more affordable and effective option, which is why researchers have focused more on this technique and have tried to develop membranes that can filter out hydrogen more quickly and effectively. One of these efforts, a research study that recently was published in the Nature Communications journal, shows that the use of MXene material in the gas separation membranes used for separating hydrogen atoms could possibly the most efficient way of getting pure hydrogen gas.
The research indicates that the two-dimensional configuration of the nanomaterial enables it to reject large gas molecules selectively, while consequently letting hydrogen atoms escape between the layers. The detailed report provides insights into how the 2-dimensional MXene nanosheets can act as the building block for constructing laminated membranes for the separation of the gas in the first experiment of this kind.
While a variety of materials and several kinds of membranes are presently used across gas separation facilities, MXenes has advantage over other materials because its filtration and permeability selectivity are tied to the material’s chemical composition and structure.