Clean Technology 2009

High Permeance Composite Membranes for Hydrogen Separation

O. Polyakov, B. Lutz, D. Routkevitch
Synkera Technologies Inc., US

Keywords: hydrogen separation, hydrogen purification, composite membranes


Energy-efficient hydrogen generation and purification is needed for many clean energy and industrial processes, from fuel cell and point-of-use generation to oil and gas and petrochemical industries. Synkera Technologies is developing composite hydrogen separation membranes that target breakthrough performance and reliability and offer significant cost savings at the system level in comparison with Pd foils or supported membranes. Membrane features include: · Nanocomposite active layer with permeance exceeding 1.5 mmol/s/m^2/Pa^0.5 at 400°C · Low defect density, high selectivity (up to 3000). · Excellent reliability in thermal (ambient to 450°C) and pressure (0 to 150 psig) cycling in hydrogen atmosphere without loss of performance or embrittlement. · Mechanical reliability, resistance to abrasion. · Planar membranes of flexible size with Al rim for compression sealing. These benefits, enabled by nanoengineered membrane architecture, provide significant competitive advantages for many hydrogen separation and purification applications. The presentation will review performance achieved to date in laboratory and pilot-scale prototypes. We have scaled the key fabrication processes to produce operational prototypes up to 725 cm2 and are in the process of pilot-scale testing with one of the leading fuel cell developers. Customers are being sought for evaluating these membranes in their systems and applications.
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