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Membranes 2016, 6(3), 44; doi:10.3390/membranes6030044

Integration of Methane Steam Reforming and Water Gas Shift Reaction in a Pd/Au/Pd-Based Catalytic Membrane Reactor for Process Intensification

Center of Inorganic Membrane Studies, Department of Chemical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609, USA
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Academic Editor: Peter Czermak
Received: 23 July 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 9 September 2016 / Published: 19 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane and Process Intensification)
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Abstract

Palladium-based catalytic membrane reactors (CMRs) effectively remove H2 to induce higher conversions in methane steam reforming (MSR) and water-gas-shift reactions (WGS). Within such a context, this work evaluates the technical performance of a novel CMR, which utilizes two catalysts in series, rather than one. In the process system under consideration, the first catalyst, confined within the shell side of the reactor, reforms methane with water yielding H2, CO and CO2. After reforming is completed, a second catalyst, positioned in series, reacts with CO and water through the WGS reaction yielding pure H2O, CO2 and H2. A tubular composite asymmetric Pd/Au/Pd membrane is situated throughout the reactor to continuously remove the produced H2 and induce higher methane and CO conversions while yielding ultrapure H2 and compressed CO2 ready for dehydration. Experimental results involving (i) a conventional packed bed reactor packed (PBR) for MSR, (ii) a PBR with five layers of two catalysts in series and (iii) a CMR with two layers of two catalysts in series are comparatively assessed and thoroughly characterized. Furthermore, a comprehensive 2D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed to explore further the features of the proposed configuration. The reaction was studied at different process intensification-relevant conditions, such as space velocities, temperatures, pressures and initial feed gas composition. Finally, it is demonstrated that the above CMR module, which was operated for 600 h, displays quite high H2 permeance and purity, high CH4 conversion levels and reduced CO yields. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogen production; catalytic membrane reactor; methane steam reforming; water-gas-shift reaction; reaction coupling hydrogen production; catalytic membrane reactor; methane steam reforming; water-gas-shift reaction; reaction coupling
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Castro-Dominguez, B.; Mardilovich, I.P.; Ma, L.-C.; Ma, R.; Dixon, A.G.; Kazantzis, N.K.; Ma, Y.H. Integration of Methane Steam Reforming and Water Gas Shift Reaction in a Pd/Au/Pd-Based Catalytic Membrane Reactor for Process Intensification. Membranes 2016, 6, 44.

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