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Comment PDF Separation Processes

Scaleup is set for an air-separation membrane

By Chemical Engineering |

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI, Palo Alto, Calif.; www.epri.com) has signed an agreement with Air Products (Allentown, Penn.; www.airproducts.com) to support the company’s development of a ceramic ion transport membrane (ITM) for air separation. The membrane is being tested and scaled up under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE, Washington D.C.; www.doe.gov).   The goal is to substitute the membrane for cryogenic air separation for integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) and oxycombustion systems. In oxycombustion, oxygen replaces combustion air, thus producing a fluegas that is nitrogen-free, but rich in carbon dioxide, which can be readily captured. ITM technology is expected to reduce power consumption for air separation by up to 30% and capital costs by about 30%, says Ted Foster, director of business development for advanced gas separation with Air Products. Air Products’ ITM consists of a stack of wafers made of doped, complex metal oxides. Air is heated to above 700°C at 280 psi, and O2 is ionized, passes through the membrane, then reforms into molecules (CE, December 2008, p. 19). Under the agreement with DOE, Air Products has been testing the membrane at…
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