skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Hydrogen Selective Exfoliated Zeolite Membranes

The objective of this project was to develop and evaluate an innovative membrane technology at process conditions that would be representative of Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) advanced power generation with pre-combustion capture of carbon dioxide (CO2). This research focused on hydrogen (H2)-selective zeolite membranes that could be utilized to separate conditioned syngas into H2-rich and CO2-rich components. Both experiments and process design and optimization calculations were performed to evaluate the concept of ultra-thin membranes made from zeolites nanosheets. In this work, efforts in the laboratory were made to tackle two fundamental challenges in application of zeolite membranes in harsh industrial environments, namely, membrane thickness and membrane stability. Conventional zeolite membranes have thicknesses in the micron range, limiting their performance. In this research, we developed a method for fabrication of ultimately thin zeolite membranes based on zeolite nanosheets. A range of layered zeolites (MWW, RWR, NSI structure types) suitable for hydrogen separation was successfully exfoliated to their constituent nanosheets. Further, membranes were made from one of these zeolites, MWW, to demonstrate the potential of this group of materials. Moreover, long-term steam stability of these zeolites (up to 6 months) was investigated in high concentrations of steam (35 mol% and 95more » mole%), high pressure (10 barg), and high temperatures (350 °C and 600 °C) relevant to conditions of water-gas-shift and steam methane reforming reactions. It was found that certain nanosheets are stable, and that stability depends on the concentration of structural defects. Additionally, models that represent a water-gas-shift (WGS) membrane reactor equipped with the zeolite membrane were developed for systems studies. These studies had the aim of analyzing the effect of the membrane reactor integration into IGCC plants in terms of performance and economic aspects of the plants. Specifically, simulation and design optimization studies were performed using the developed stand-alone membrane reactor models to identify the membrane selectivity and permeance characteristics necessary to achieve desired targets of CO2 capture and H2 recovery, as well as guide the selection of the optimal reactor design that minimizes the membrane cost as a function of its surface area required. The isothermal membrane reactor model was also integrated into IGCC system models using both the MATLAB and Aspen software platforms and techno-economic analyses of the integrated plants have been carried out to evaluate the feasibility of replacing current technologies for pre-combustion capture by the proposed novel approach in terms of satisfying stream constraints and achieving the DOE target goal of 90% CO2 capture. The results of the performed analyses based on present value of annuity calculations showed break even costs for the membrane reactor within the feasible range for membrane fabrication. However, the predicted membrane performance used in these simulations exceeded the performance achieved experimentally. Therefore, further work is required to improve membrane performance.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States). Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States). Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States