Boron Nitride Membranes with a Distinct Nanoconfinement Effect for Efficient Ethylene/Ethane Separation

Haozhen Dou, Bin Jiang, Mi Xu, Zhen Zhang, Guobin Wen, Feifei Peng, Aiping Yu, Zhengyu Bai, Yongli Sun, Luhong Zhang,* Zhongyi Jiang,* and Zhongwei Chen*

School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin, PR China

School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Key Laboratory of Green Chemical Media and Reactions, Henan Normal University

Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo Waterloo, Ontario (Canada)



A BN membrane with a distinct nanoconfinement effect toward efficient ethylene/ethane separation is presented. The horizontal and inclined selfassembly of 2D BN nanosheets endow the BN membrane with abundant percolating nanochannels, and these nanochannels are further decorated by reactive ionic liquids (RILs) to tailor their sizes as well as to achieve nanoconfinement effect. The noncovalent interactions between RIL and BN nanosheets favor the ordered alignment of the cations and anions of RIL within BN nanochannels, which contributes to a fast and selective ethylene transport. The resultant membranes exhibit an unprecedented separation performance with superhigh C2H4 permeance of 138 GPU and C2H4/C2H6 selectivity of 128 as well as remarkably improved longterm stability for 180 h, outperforming reported stateoftheart membranes.

Graphical abstract