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Application of ITM Oxygen to Autothermal Reforming

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019430D
Publication Date: 2003-Sep-12
Document File: 1 page(s) / 24K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Ion transport membranes (ITM) may be applied to the fluidized bed autothermal steam reforming (ATR) process in a manner that allows both the oxidation and reforming reactions to occur simultaneously. The ITMs can be mounted either inside or outside the reformer. In the fluidized bed autothermal reforming process, catalytic action takes place across a bed of finely divided catalyst. The flow of feedstock and oxygen-rich gas through the catalyst creates turbulence in the bed, exposing the greatest possible catalyst surface area for reaction. This large specific area greatly increases the effectiveness factor of the catalyst, which, due to various factors, is relatively low in processes using reformer tube technology. Increasing the effectiveness factor allows the plant designer to decrease the amount of catalyst used for a desired rate of feedstock processing. Additional capital cost savings are realized in the elimination of costly reformer tubes and the scaling down or elimination of other equipment used in older reforming technologies, as allowed by the higher efficiency of the fluidized bed process.

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Application of ITM Oxygen to Autothermal Reforming

Ion transport membranes (ITM) may be applied to the fluidized bed autothermal steam reforming (ATR) process in a manner that allows both the oxidation and reforming reactions to occur simultaneously. The ITMs can be mounted either inside or outside the reformer.

In the fluidized bed autothermal reforming process, catalytic action takes place across a bed of finely divided catalyst. The flow of feedstock and oxygen-rich gas through the catalyst creates turbulence in the bed, exposing the greatest possible catalyst surface area for reaction. This large specific area greatly increases the effectiveness factor of the catalyst, which, due to various factors, is relatively low in processes using reformer tube technology. Increasing the effectiveness factor allows the plant designer to decrease the amount of catalyst used for a desired rate of feedstock processing. Additional capital cost savings are realized in the elimination of costly reformer tubes and the scaling down or elimination of other equipment used in older reforming technologies, as allowed by the higher efficiency of the fluidized bed process.

Fluidized bed performance will be enhanced further by the addition of ITM oxygen membrane units to the fluidized bed for the oxidation of hydrocarbons. In this design, air at atmospheric pressure or greater is introduced at the inlet side of the membrane. Oxygen permeates through the membrane to react with hydrocarbons and possibly with CO and H2 to yield H2, CO, CO2, and H2O. The benefit of putting ITM in the reactor is that the partial pressure on the reacting (permeate) side is nearly zero, and oxygen will permeate from the air side to the permeate side without the use of high pressure compressors associated with oxygen produced by cryogenic air separation.

Attrition of the ITM membrane by t...