ECN publication
Feasibility of the application of porous inorganic gas separation membranesin some large-scale chemical processes
Published by: Publication date:
ECN 1996
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--96-012 Other
Number of pages: Full text:
47 Download PDF  

During the last decade there has been an intensified activity in researchand development of ceramic membranes for gas separation applications. In several studies it is said that the market for these membranes will expand very rapidly in the near future. This market growth will be due to advantages such as high permeation and membrane stability as compared with other membrane separation technologies. During the first years of inorganic membrane development, R&D was mainly focused on the membrane as the product, and research was driven by material development and material scientists. Research was carried out by universities, while research institutes and especially (end-user) industry were hardly involved. Main reason for this was that a lot of fundamental knowledge was needed before these membranes could be implemented in the foreseen market. Nowadays somewhat more attention is paid towards applications and use of these membranes in processes and under process conditions. Industry is now getting more involved in R&D. In several review articles, membrane development and possibilities of inorganic membranes in gas separation applications and especially in membrane reactor applications have been summarised. In most of the literature the use of inorganic membranes for gas separation and reactor applications are considered to be very promising. However, research is still strongly focused on the membrane as a material and much less on the membrane process. The aim of this report is to show that a multidisciplinary approach, focusing on materials, processes and modelling, is needed to judge the techno-economic feasibility of inorganic membranes in large-scale processes. This will be done by discussing examples of the potential use of porous inorganic membranes in three different membrane reactor applications. In all three, hydrogen separation will take place: the dehydrogenation of propane to propylene, the dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene to styrene, and the water-gas shift reaction. Membrane characteristics such as permeation, selectivity and separation factor are given throughout this chapter. The definitions for these characteristics are given in the appendix. 15 figs., 11 tabs., 1 appendix, 71 refs.

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