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Membrane Reactors for Hydrogen Production

Today, the use of membrane reactors for hydrogen production is becoming more and more a reality with various pilot installations all over the world and increasing literature studies focused not only on the development of mechanically and chemically stable membranes with high permselectivity, but also on integrated processes able to maximize the productivity and reduce the equipment size and energy consumption. The possibility to combine reaction and separation processes in the same unit, reducing the whole volume of the plant and increasing its efficiency, is the main asset motivating the development of this technology. The scope of this chapter highlights the main findings on membrane reactors used in hydrogen production from reforming processes. A thorough discussion is presented on the main membrane reactor configurations used for various processes (from packed bed to fluidized bed to micro-reactors), with a short overview of some representative results on the upgrading of syngas via the water–gas shift reaction. In addition, by considering the water–gas shift as a reference reaction, process intensification metrics are detailed. These parameters, together with the traditional variables commonly used in the evaluation of the performance of a process, supply additional and important insight for the selection of the type of technology and the identification of the operating conditions that make a process more profitable.

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17 Oct 2017
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