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Conical Tube for ITM Oxygen Modules

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021007D
Publication Date: 2003-Dec-16
Document File: 3 page(s) / 82K

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The IP.com Prior Art Database

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Conical Tube for ITM Oxygen Modules

Oxygen can be recovered from air at high temperatures by passing hot, oxygen-containing gas, preferably air, over non-porous, mixed conducting ceramic membranes. These membranes, known in the art generically as ion transport membranes (ITMs), utilize an oxygen partial pressure differential 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 contact with the hot compressed air. High-purity oxygen permeate and nitrogen-enriched non-permeate products are withdrawn from the modules. 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.

To expose the membrane surfaces to the oxygen-containing gas, it is necessary to support or suspend the membrane or membrane module (stack of membranes) in the flow of oxygen-containing gas. It is also necessary to attach the membrane module to process piping or a tube sheet so that the product oxygen can be withdrawn. The module can therefore be supported with the aid of the process piping/tube sheet. An effective ceramic-to-metal seal must exist for each membrane module for connection to the process piping/tube sheet, and this seal will most effectively be made in conjunction with the module supporting element(s).

The oxygen produced from the membrane/membrane module is hot, typically 600-1100 C. It is advantageous to protect the process piping/tube sheet from very high temperatures so that the process piping/tube sheet materials can maintain sufficient strength to support the module. Piping and/or tube sheet orifices can be internally insulated to protect them. The hot membrane module can be thermally isolated from the piping/tube sheet by means of insulation.

The internal diameter of the pipe/orifice should be larger than that of the membrane module before it is insulated. This will ensure that the internal area for flow in the insulated pipe is the same or similar to that in the module, resulting in low pressure drop. Thus, a transition piece is needed which attaches with a relatively smaller diameter at the me...