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Removal of Oxygen and Water from an Inert Gas with ITM Cells

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019419D
Publication Date: 2003-Sep-12
Document File: 1 page(s) / 58K

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Abstract

Oxygen can be recovered from air at high temperatures by passing a hot, oxygen-containing gas, preferably air, over non-porous, solid electrolyte ceramic membranes. These membranes, known in the art generically as ion transport membranes (ITMs), utilize an electro-chemical potential difference across the membrane to cause oxygen ions to migrate through the membrane. Membranes can be fabricated as tubes or flat plates that are arranged in modules for efficient contacting with hot air. High-purity oxygen permeate and nitrogen-enriched non-permeate products are withdrawn from the modules. The oxygen product can also be provided at elevated pressures via the electrochemical compression capabilities of the membrane. A comprehensive review of ion transport membranes is given by J. D. Wright and R. J. Copeland in Report No. TDA-GRI-90/0303 prepared for the Gas Research Institute, September 1990.

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Removal of Oxygen and Water from an Inert Gas with ITM Cells

         Oxygen can be recovered from air at high temperatures by passing a hot, oxygen‑containing gas, preferably air, over non-porous, solid electrolyte ceramic membranes. These membranes, known in the art generically as ion transport membranes (ITMs), utilize an electro-chemical potential difference across the membrane to cause oxygen ions to migrate through the membrane. Membranes can be fabricated as tubes or flat plates that are arranged in modules for efficient contacting with hot air. High-purity oxygen permeate and nitrogen-enriched non-permeate products are withdrawn from the modules. The oxygen product can also be provided at elevated pressures via the electrochemical compression capabilities of the membrane. A comprehensive review of ion transport membranes is given by J. D. Wright and R. J. Copeland in Report No. TDA-GRI-90/0303 prepared for the Gas Research Institute, September 1990.

ITM technology can be adapted to remove oxygen from inert gases. Inert gases produced by non-cryogenic means may contain impurities other than oxygen, such as water. Some uses of the deoxygenated inert gases will also require the removal of the water. Others may also require that, or benefit if, the inert gas be a reducing gas. Some ITM oxygen cells can electrolyze water that is present in the inert stream to produce hydrogen, thereby removing water from the inert stream. The oxygen from the electrolyzed water is then removed from the inert gas. The same ITM cell that performs th...