Modeling and Optimization of Ion Transport Membranes for Oxygen Separation from Air

Modeling and Optimization of Ion Transport Membranes for Oxygen
Separation from Air

M. Brezler, Gaurav V. Mirlekar, and Fernando V. Lima

to Topical Area: Computing and Process Control
of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown,

The use of high purity oxygen instead of air in fossil fuel combustion
processes can increase conversion and aid in the decrease of CO2 and
NOx emissions. Cryogenic air separation is the current technology implemented
to produce oxygen, but operation requires large energy inputs that result in
high costs. Ion transport membranes (ITM) for oxygen separation is an emerging
technology that can be used in place of the cryogenic process to decrease
costs. Ion transport membranes separate oxygen from air by selectively allowing
the oxygen ions to pass through the membrane. Ceramic membranes with a
perovskite crystal structure are a well-suited material for this application. In
this work, the La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-d (LSCF) perovskite
membrane module is modeled and optimized for the implementation into a 620 MWe integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power

An ITM model is designed in MATLAB by performing a material balance
across the membrane and applying a permeation flux equation. Preliminary
results show that after optimization by employing a nonlinear programming
function, the cost of a membrane required to produce 1500 mol/s
of oxygen for the IGCC power plant decreased from the base case design cost. Such
optimization will be further discussed to reduce the cost of the membrane. By generating a model for the cost effective membrane that
is overall less expensive than current air separation units, this research will
help push this technology further towards implementation into chemical and advanced
energy processes.