Silica membrane performance for hydrogen separation from methanol steam reforming products: Assessment of different multistage membrane schemes

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Urmia University

2 Chemical Engineering Faculty, Urmia University of Technology

3 Institute on Membrane Technology of the Italian National Research Council (CNR-ITM), Via P. Bucci Cubo 17/C c/o University of Calabria, Rende (CS) – 87046, Italy


The aim of this work is a theoretical study of multistage silica membrane configurations for hydrogen purification by methanol steam reforming (MSR) products.  Four membrane schemes including single permeator, CMC (continuous membrane column), ISMC ("in series" membrane cascade), and CRC (countercurrent recycle membrane cascade) were considered for this purpose. The modeling results showed that silica membranes have a high potential for high purity (more than 99.9%) hydrogen production. The lowest amounts of compressor duty and the required total membrane area were considered as the objective functions to select the optimal design and amount of hydrogen purification.  A comparison of our simulation results of the different multistage membrane schemes showed the CRC configuration was more efficient than the other configurations. The modeling results show that that increasing the retentate side pressure from 2 to 5 bar reduced the total silica membrane area for the CRC scheme by almost 13 times (30.67 and 2.37 cm2 silica membrane area for a retentate side pressure of 2 and 5 bar, respectively).


Main Subjects

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