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Long term performance cobalt oxide silica membrane module for high temperature H2 separation

Abstract : Abstract View references (60) Here we show the long term performance at high temperatures of a multi-tube module containing 8 membranes in 4 parallel lines with a total of 545 cm 2 area. The membranes were prepared via thin film dip coating of cobalt oxide silica (CoO xSi) sol-gel on tubular alumina supports. A preliminary study found that the sol-gel containing 20 mol% cobalt oxide formed the best microporous structure with the highest surface area and pore volume. All resulting membranes delivered permeances of ∼1 × 10 -7 mol m -2 s -1 Pa -1 at 500 °C, indicating a high repeatability for the membrane fabrication process. The permselectivities of helium (He) and hydrogen (H 2) over carbon dioxide (CO 2) and nitrogen (N 2) increased from 10-20 at 100 °C to values close to 1000 at 500 °C. Additionally, the apparent energies of activation (E act) for the smaller kinetic diameter gases He and H 2 at 12.2 and 19.5 kJ mol -1 were high and contrary to the negative values for larger gases N 2 and CO 2 at -1.8 and -7.4 kJ mol -1. These remarkable results were attributed to the molecular sieving mechanism of the microporous silica which was enhanced by the embedding of cobalt oxide into the matrix, delivering structural control with an average pore size of 3 Å. The E act for H 2 permeance was higher than that of He, indicating that the cobalt oxide played an important role in H 2 transport. Two membrane lines performed exceptionally well for binary gas mixture processing with H 2 purity reaching values close to 100% in the permeate stream for argon (Ar) concentrations of up to 80% in the retentate stream. A major finding here is that the binary gas selectivity was independent of temperature, contrary to the permselectivity observed for single gas permeance. Further, the H 2 flow rate was greatly affected by the concentration of Ar in the mixture, while the temperature dependency played only a marginal role. In particular, competitive adsorption in the percolative pathways containing pore constrictions or bottlenecks of the anisotropic CoO xSi matrix allowed Ar to impede H 2 diffusion. Finally, the CoO xSi membranes proved thermally stable and robust for 2000 h of testing for various thermal cycles up to 500 °C. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2012.
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Christelle Yacou, Simon Smart, João C. Diniz da Costa. Long term performance cobalt oxide silica membrane module for high temperature H2 separation. Energy & Environmental Science, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2012, 5 (2), ⟨10.1039/c2ee03247c⟩. ⟨hal-01683199⟩



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