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. 2014 Mar 6;4(1):143-62.
doi: 10.3390/membranes4010143.

Performance and Long-Term Stability of Pd/PSS and Pd/Al2O3 Membranes for Hydrogen Separation

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Free PMC article

Performance and Long-Term Stability of Pd/PSS and Pd/Al2O3 Membranes for Hydrogen Separation

Simona Liguori et al. Membranes (Basel). .
Free PMC article

Abstract

The present work is focused on the investigation of the performance and long-term stability of two composite palladium membranes under different operating conditions. One membrane (Pd/porous stainless steel (PSS)) is characterized by a ~10 µm-thick palladium layer on a porous stainless steel substrate, which is pretreated by means of surface modification and oxidation; the other membrane (Pd/Al2O3) is constituted by a ~7 µm-thick palladium layer on an asymmetric microporous Al2O3 substrate. The operating temperature and pressure ranges, used for studying the performance of these two kinds of membranes, are 350-450 °C and 200-800 kPa, respectively. The H2 permeances and the H2/N2 selectivities of both membranes were investigated and compared with literature data. At 400 °C and 200 kPa as pressure difference, Pd/PSS and Pd/Al2O3 membranes exhibited an H2/N2 ideal selectivity equal to 11700 and 6200, respectively, showing stability for 600 h. Thereafter, H2/N2 selectivity of both membranes progressively decreased and after around 2000 h, dropped dramatically to 55 and 310 for the Pd/PSS and Pd/Al2O3 membranes, respectively. As evidenced by Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) analyses, the pinholes appear on the whole surface of the Pd/PSS membrane and this is probably due to release of sulphur from the graphite seal rings.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Scheme of membrane module housing the Pd/porous stainless steel (PSS) membrane.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Scheme of membrane module housing the Pd/Al2O3 membrane.
Figure 3
Figure 3
N2 and He permeances as a function of trans-membrane pressure for both Pd-based membranes at T = 400 °C.
Figure 4
Figure 4
H2 permeating flux as a function of the trans-membrane pressure at different “n” values; T = 400 °C, (a) Pd/PSS and (b) Pd/Al2O3 membrane.
Figure 5
Figure 5
Arrhenius plot for pure hydrogen permeation tests using Pd/PSS and Pd/Al2O3 membranes at ∆p = 1 bar.
Figure 6
Figure 6
Ideal selectivities as a function of the trans-membrane pressure at T = 400 °C for Pd/PSS and Pd/Al2O3 membranes. (a) αH2/N2; (b) αH2/He; (c) αH2/CH4; (d) αH2/CO2.
Figure 7
Figure 7
Comparison with scientific data. (a) αH2/N2; (b) αH2/CO2; and (c) αH2/CH4 vs. H2 Permeance [53,58,59,60,61,62,63,64,65,66,67,68,69,70,71,72].
Figure 8
Figure 8
H2 and N2 permeating flux through both Pd/PSS and Pd/Al2O3 membranes as a function of process time.
Figure 9
Figure 9
SEM images with secondary electrons of the Pd/PSS membrane surface at the end of the tests. (a) Typical morphology of Pd-clusters; (b) Presence of pinholes on the Pd-surface.

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