Dr Patterson passed away in February 2017 and had been working on a paper with Dr Nick Low in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Professor Peter Budd from the University of Manchester and Prof Neil McKeown from the University of Edinburgh.

This work was conducted as part of the ongoing £5.5m EPSRC-funded programme grant ‘SynFabFun’.

The article entitled ‘Gas Permeation Properties, Physical Aging, and Its Mitigation in High 2 Free Volume Glassy Polymers’ discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches to stop the physical ageing and plasticization of polymers used in membrane materials for separating gasses. Polymer ageing remains a major obstacle towards more widespread use of membranes in a wide range of applications, ranging from carbon dioxide capture to reduce power plant emissions to the efficient separation of products from the cracking and refining of fossil fuels.

This paper presents the state-of-the-art in the field and provides insight in how to overcome this key challenge.

The article also provides perspectives on a number of key aspects of polymer membrane research including understanding how membranes age, optimal storing conditions for membranes, how to measure and report the gas permeability and aging rate of membranes, and promising approaches to mitigating the aging of polymer membranes.

Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Professor Tim Mays, commented:

This major and important review is a fitting addition to Dr Patterson’s significant publication track record in membrane science and engineering.

It will inevitably become a standard reference in the field and is testament to Darrell’s vision both to carry out the very highest quality original research and also to provide new perspectives to guide and inspire other researchers. I would like to thank his co-authors Dr Low, Professor Budd and Professor McKeown for ensuring that the paper was completed and published.

The article, published in Chemical Reviews, can be viewed at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.chemrev.7b00629