H2 production via ammonia decomposition in a catalytic membrane reactor

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Abstract

The membrane reactor is proposed in this work as a system with high potential to efficiently recover the hydrogen (H2) stored in ammonia (NH3), which has been recently proposed as an alternative for H2 storage. With this technology, NH3 decomposition and high-purity H2 separation are simultaneously performed within the same unit, and high H2 separation efficiency is achieved at lower temperature compared to conventional systems, leading to energetic and economic benefits. NH3 decomposition was experimentally performed in a Pd based membrane reactor over a Ru-based catalyst and the performance of the conventional packed bed reactor were used as benchmark for a comparison. The results demonstrate that the introduction of a membrane in a conventional reactor enhances its performance and allows to achieve conversion higher than the thermodynamic equilibrium conversion for sufficiently high temperatures. For temperatures from and above 425 ◦C, full NH3 conversion was achieved and more than 86% of H2 fed to the system as ammonia was recovered with a purity of 99.998%. The application of vacuum at the membrane permeate side leads to higher H2 recovery and NH3 conversions beyond thermodynamic restrictions. On the other hand, the reactor feed flow rate and operating pressure have not shown major impacts on NH3 conversion.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106772
Number of pages9
JournalFuel Processing Technology
Volume216
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Ammonia decomposition
  • Membrane reactor
  • Hydrogen storage
  • Hydrogen separation

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