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Membranes for oxygen and hydrogen separation play a key-role in the development of CO2 emission-free coal or natural gas power plants. In addition, cost-effective oxygen and hydrogen production processes are urgently needed in gas supply industry.
Today existing membranes, however, are not able to meet the requirements for an economical use because of the high costs in combination with limited permeability values and long-term stability in the operating environment.
The objective of this project is, therefore, the development of thin mixed conducting membranes for O2 and H2 separation by using a new deposition technique “Low Pressure Plasma Spraying – Thin Film” (PS-TF) in combination with nanoporous, highly catalytic layers.
PS-TF is a technique based on a combination of thermal spray and Physical Vapour Deposition technology. It allows the cost-effective production of thin, dense coatings on large areas at low substrate temperatures and has already successfully been used for the deposition of membranes for the solid oxide fuel cells. In this project both ceramic and metallic substrates will be used for deposition. It is expected that, by using the PS-TF process a dense, stable deposit with thickness lower than 30 micron can be obtained. This would allow increasing membrane performances while decreasing their manufacturing costs. Catalytic layers will be also applied to enhance the surface reactions becoming rate limiting for thin membranes. Membrane performances will be assessed in pilot loops in order to meet specific targets in terms of permeability and stability at temperature. A modelling study concerning the integration of the developed membranes in power and hydrogen production plants will be also performed. This will provide inputs for process scale-up and cost evaluation in the selected plant configurations in order to approach zero CO2 emission and a CO2 capture cost of 15 €/ton.7.
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