Pilot-scale tests generate information about the performance of energy systems and thus help in the deployment of new technologies. This work aims at demonstrating the pilot-scale application of palladium-based membrane technology for the purification of H2. A multitube membrane module with a total permeable area of 1050 cm2 was tested under actual coal-derived syngas. The module was composed of seven membranes with a Pd/Au/Pd layered structure supported on PSS tubes. The membranes were arranged with one membrane at the center and six equally distributed around it. The membranes had a composition of 7 µm Pd and 0.4 µm Au and a cumulative He leak of <0.01 cm3/min/bar before testing. The module was operated at 450 °C, 12.6 bar and 10 lb/h of desulfurized syngas provided by a gasification unit and enriched with H2 to 34%. The module showed a stable H2 permeance of 16.2 Nm3 m−2 h−1 bar−0.5 throughout 840 h. The produced H2 purity was in the range of 99.87–98%. An H2 production of 6 lb/day and recovery of 64% were achieved, representing a significant development in the field. The scalability and industrial applicability of this technology was successfully demonstrated. Furthermore, a CFD model illustrated different physical phenomena associated with this multitube configuration.
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Person: Research & Teaching