Design of a novel autothermal membrane-assisted fluidized-bed reactor for the production of ultrapure hydrogen from methane

C.S. Patil, M. van Sint Annaland, J.A.M. Kuipers

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    A novel multifunctional reactor concept has been developed for the production of ultrapure H2 (<10 ppm CO) from light hydrocarbons such as CH4, for online use in downstream polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells for small-scale applications (typically 1-50 kW). A high degree of process intensification is achieved by integrating permselective Pd metallic membranes for H2 removal (500-600 C operating temperature) inside a fluidized-bed reactor along with selective O2 addition through dense perovskite membranes (900-1000 C operating temperature). Incorporation of both types of membranes within a single reactor has the clear advantage of producing ultrapure H2 and pure CO2, circumventing expensive CO2 sequestration. The membrane-assisted fluidized-bed reactor consists of a partial oxidation bottom section and a steam reforming/water gas shift top section. Using thermodynamic equilibrium calculations and more detailed fluidized-bed membrane reactor modeling, it is demonstrated that autothermal operation with high CH4 conversions and H2 yields can be achieved with a relatively small catalyst inventory. Moreover, by tuning the feed ratios to the bottom and top sections, the temperatures in both sections can be effectively controlled for optimal membrane performance.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)9502-9512
    Number of pages10
    JournalIndustrial & engineering chemistry research
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • IR-54593
    • METIS-228879

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