(99e) Hydrogen Production Via Pd-Ag Permeators: Membrane Reactor Design and Process Study

Tosti, S., ENEA, Unità Tecnico Scientifica Fusione
Basile, A., Institute on Membrane Technology of the National Research Council - (ITM-CNR)
Bettinali, L., ENEA, Unità Tecnico Scientifica Fusione
Borgognoni, F., Tesi Sas
Rizzello, C., Tesi Sas

Thin wall Pd-Ag permeator tubes have been produced by a diffusion welding procedure: these low-cost membranes are proposed for separating and producing high-pure hydrogen in membrane reactors. The reliability of these dense metallic permeators is strongly related to the design configuration of the membrane modules. In fact, as a consequence of hydrogen and thermal cycling. the dense metallic tubes vary their length: in case of constrains between the membrane and the module, cyclic axial stresses on the tube can rise leading to the rupture of the permeator. In our application, a finger type assembly of the membrane tubes has been designed: it permits the free elongation and contraction of the palladium alloy tube avoiding any mechanical cycling stress. A process in which a membrane reactor produces ultrapure hydrogen needed to a polymeric fuel cell of power 500 W has been designed: the process foresees the use of both traditional and membrane reactors. The membrane reactor consists of a bundle of Pd-Ag thin wall tubes operating in parallel where the water gas shift reaction takes place. The membrane reactor consisting of Pd-Ag tubes operating at 350°C and 200 kPa while the hydrogen stream of about 6 liter/min is recovered in the shell side by means of nitrogen sweep gas at 100 kPa.

Keywords: Pd-Ag Membranes, Hydrogen Production, Membrane Reactor Design.


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