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Open AccessArticle

Fluidized Bed Membrane Reactors for Ultra Pure H2 Production—A Step forward towards Commercialization

Chemical Process Intensification, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Eindhoven University of Technology, P. O. Box 513, 5612 AZ Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Energy and Environment Division, TECNALIA, Mikeletegi Pasealekua 2, 20009 San Sebastián-Donostia, Spain
Chemical Engineering and Environmental Department, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, C/Alameda Urquijo s/n, 48013 Bilbao, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Raffaele Molinari
Molecules 2016, 21(3), 376;
Received: 3 February 2016 / Revised: 8 March 2016 / Accepted: 9 March 2016 / Published: 19 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Catalysis)
In this research the performance of a fluidized bed membrane reactor for high temperature water gas shift and its long term stability was investigated to provide a proof-of-concept of the new system at lab scale. A demonstration unit with a capacity of 1 Nm3/h of ultra-pure H2 was designed, built and operated over 900 h of continuous work. Firstly, the performance of the membranes were investigated at different inlet gas compositions and at different temperatures and H2 partial pressure differences. The membranes showed very high H2 fluxes (3.89 × 10−6 mol·m−2·Pa−1·s−1 at 400 °C and 1 atm pressure difference) with a H2/N2 ideal perm-selectivity (up to 21,000 when integrating five membranes in the module) beyond the DOE 2015 targets. Monitoring the performance of the membranes and the reactor confirmed a very stable performance of the unit for continuous high temperature water gas shift under bubbling fluidization conditions. Several experiments were carried out at different temperatures, pressures and various inlet compositions to determine the optimum operating window for the reactor. The obtained results showed high hydrogen recovery factors, and very low CO concentrations at the permeate side (in average <10 ppm), so that the produced hydrogen can be directly fed to a low temperature PEM fuel cell. View Full-Text
Keywords: fluidized bed membrane reactor; water gas shift; ultra-pure H2; PEM fuel cell fluidized bed membrane reactor; water gas shift; ultra-pure H2; PEM fuel cell
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MDPI and ACS Style

Helmi, A.; Fernandez, E.; Melendez, J.; Pacheco Tanaka, D.A.; Gallucci, F.; Van Sint Annaland, M. Fluidized Bed Membrane Reactors for Ultra Pure H2 Production—A Step forward towards Commercialization. Molecules 2016, 21, 376.

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