Development of proton-conducting membranes for hydrogen separation Page: 4 of 14
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Development of Proton-Conducting Membranes for Hydrogen
U. (Balu) Balachandran (email@example.com; 630-252-4250)
J. Guan (sedorris @qmgate.anl.gov; 630-252-5084)
S.E. Dorris (firstname.lastname@example.org; 630-252-5084)
Energy Technology Division
Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne, IL 60439
The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) at DOE sponsors a wide range of research, development, and
demonstration programs to maximize the use of vast domestic fossil resources and to ensure a fuel-
diverse energy sector while responding to global environmental concerns. The development of
cost-effective membrane-based reactor and separation technologies is of considerable interest for
applications in advanced coal-based power and fuel technologies. Because concerns over global
climate change are driving nations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, hydrogen is considered the
fuel of choice for both electric power and transportation industries. While it is likely that
renewable energy sources will ultimately be used to generate hydrogen, fossil-based technologies
will be utilized to generate the hydrogen in the interim.
Outside of direct coal liquefaction, three major industrial areas currently produce and use large
volumes of hydrogen, although other areas such as hydrogen-fueled vehicles and indirect coal
liquefaction may develop into major users. At present, petroleum refining and the production of
ammonia and methanol collectively consume about 95% of all deliberately manufactured hydrogen
in the U.S., with petroleum refining accounting for about 70%. As crude oil quality deteriorates
and restrictions on sulfur, nitrogen, and aromatic levels become increasingly stringent, refinery
hydrogen needs will continue to increase, all while hydrogen sources such as naphtha reforming
become more scarce due to reduced aromatic allowances in products. In this climate of growing
demand and dwindling sources, membrane technology may reduce refining costs and help retain
domestic refining capacity by integrating hydrogen separation and purification into the shift
conversion process (thereby facilitating hydrogen production) and by recovering hydrogen from
streams where recovery is currently not economical due to low concentration, low pressure, or
Petroleum refineries currently employ cryogenics, pressure swing adsorption (PSA), and
membrane systems for hydrogen recovery. Each of these technologies has limitations: cryogenics
is generally used only in large-scale facilities with liquid hydrocarbon recovery, because of its high
capital cost; and PSA typically recovers less of the feedstream hydrogen and is limited to modest
temperatures. Currently used membrane systems are susceptible to chemical damage from H2S
and aromatics and have limited temperature tolerance. Following is a description of efforts at
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Balachandran, U.; Guan, J. & Dorris, S.E. Development of proton-conducting membranes for hydrogen separation, article, July 1, 1998; Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc703802/m1/4/: accessed January 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.