Metal Doped Silica Membrane Reactor: Operational Effects of Reaction and Permeation for the Water Gas Shift Reaction

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Battersby, Scott E, Duke, Mikel ORCID: 0000-0002-3383-0006, Liu, Shaomin, Rudolph, Victor and Diniz da Costa, J. C (2008) Metal Doped Silica Membrane Reactor: Operational Effects of Reaction and Permeation for the Water Gas Shift Reaction. Journal of Membrane Science, 316. pp. 46-52. ISSN 0376-7388


In this work, we investigate the performance of metal (Cobalt) doped silica membranes in a membrane reactor (MR) configuration for the low temperature water gas shift (WGS) reaction. The membranes were hydrostable and showed activated transport even after 2 weeks exposure to steam. High CO conversions resulted in the H2 and CO partial pressures in the reaction chamber moving in opposite directions, thus favouring H2/CO separation to treble (5–15) from 150 to 250 ◦C. On the other hand, the separation of H2/CO2 remained relatively low (2–4) as the driving force for diffusion or partial pressure of these gases remained equal in the reaction chamber irrespective of the extent of conversion. Below approximately 40% CO conversion, the MR is ineffective as the H2 driving force for permeation was so low that H2/CO selectivity was below unity. Operating under equilibrium limited conversion (space velocities 7500 h−1) conditions, very high conversions in excess of 95% were observed and there were no significant advantages of the MR performance over the packed bed reactor (PBR). However, for higher throughputs (space velocities 38000 and 75000 h−1) conversion is affected by the reaction rate, and relatively enough H2 is removed from the reactor through the membrane. Increasing temperature to 250 ◦C as a function of the space velocity (75000 h−1) allowed for the CO conversion in the MR to shift up to 12% as compared to the PBR.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute for Sustainability and Innovation (ISI)
Historical > FOR Classification > 0904 Chemical Engineering
Historical > SEO Classification > 9004 Water and Waste Services
Keywords ResPubID15121, metal doped silica, membrane reactor, water gas shift reaction, gas separation and CO conversion
Citations in Scopus 91 - View on Scopus
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