Upgrading biogas with novel composite carbon molecular sieve (CCMS) membranes: Experimental and techno-economic assessment

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Abstract

The use of biogas as feedstock for hydrogen production was widely proposed in the literature in the last years as a strategy to reduce anthropogenic carbon emissions. However, its lower heating value compared to natural gas
hampers the revamping of existing reforming plants. The use of composite carbon molecular sieve membranes for biogas upgrading (CO2 removal from biogas) was investigated experimentally in this work. In particular, ideal perm-selectivities and permeabilities above the Robeson plot for CO2/CH4 mixtures have been obtained. These membranes show better performances compared to polymeric membranes, which are nowadays commercialized for CO2 separation in natural gas streams. Compared to polymeric membranes, carbon membranes do not show deactivation by plasticization when exposed to CO2, and thus can find industrial application. This work was extended with a techno-economic analysis where carbon membranes are installed in a steam methane reforming plant. Results have been first validated with data from literature and show that the use of biogas increases the costs of hydrogen production to a value of 0.25 €/Nm3 compared to the benchmark technology (0.21 €/Nm3). On the other hand, the use of biogas leads to a decrease in carbon emissions up to 95%, thus the use of biogas for hydrogen production is foreseen as a very interesting alternative to conventional technologies in view of the reduction in the carbon footprint in the novel technologies that are to be installed in the near future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number124957
Number of pages12
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume394
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Biogas upgrading
  • Climate change
  • Carbon membranes
  • Techno-economics

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