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Using Orifices to Maintain Purity in ITM Oxygen

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021629D
Publication Date: 2004-Jan-28
Document File: 2 page(s) / 17K

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Using Orifices to Maintain Purity in ITM Oxygen

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 High-purity oxygen permeate and nitrogen-enriched non-permeate products are withdrawn from the modules.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.

An orifice or series of orifices placed in the flow tube that is directly connected to an ITM Oxygen module will limit flow from the ITM Oxygen module. The orifice size can be chosen to allow sufficient flow of product under normal conditions but limit the flow under unusual conditions, as would exist if the module were to develop a substantial leak. Limiting the leak can maintain the overall product purity above a set minimum in the case when multiple ITM Oxygen modules are manifolded together, provided only a limited number of modules develop a substantial leak.

Consider as the test basis for this concept 1000 oxygen generation modules, each producing 1 sTPD at 99.5% oxygen purity. Feed pressure is 260 psia, and product pressure at each module is 30.4 psia, while suction pressure of 30.0 psia is maintained downstream of an orifice by the product pump. Oxygen temperature is taken to be 1600° F . In the test scenario, one module fails, c...