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(128a) I T M Syngas: Ceramic Membrane Technology for Lower Cost Conversion of Natural Gas

Chen, C. M., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
Carolan, M. F., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
Miller, C. F., Air Products and Chemicals
Waldron, W. E., Air Products and Chemicals
Steppan, J. J., Ceramatec, Inc.
Bennett, D. L., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

The ITM Syngas Team, led by Air Products and including Chevron, Ceramatec, and other partners, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, is developing Ion Transport Membrane (ITM) technology for the production of synthesis gas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The ITM Syngas process is a breakthrough technology that combines air separation and high-temperature synthesis gas generation processes into a single ceramic membrane reactor, with significant savings in the capital cost of synthesis gas production. Because synthesis gas is a feedstock for a range of different processes, ITM Syngas represents a technology platform that has numerous applications, such as hydrogen, clean fuels and chemicals. ITM ceramic membranes are fabricated from non-porous, mixed-metal oxides and operate with exceptionally high oxygen flux and selectivity. Oxygen from low-pressure air permeates, as oxygen ions, through the ceramic membrane and is consumed through chemical reactions, thus creating a chemical driving force that pulls oxygen ions across the membrane at high rates. The oxygen reacts with natural gas in a partial oxidation process to produce synthesis gas. Significant advances have been made in developing and scaling up the ITM Syngas technology. This paper describes the development of commercial-size ceramic membranes and the ITM Syngas reactor system. Recent laboratory and pilot unit test results will also be discussed.


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