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Production of Ion Transport Membrane Structures with Low Pressure Drop

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019414D
Publication Date: 2003-Sep-12

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The IP.com Prior Art Database


Oxygen can be recovered from air at high temperatures by passing a hot compressed oxygen-containing gas, preferably air, over non-porous, mixed-conducting ceramic membranes. These membranes, known in the art generically as ion transport membranes (ITM), utilize a pressure differential across the membrane to cause oxygen ions to migrate through the membrane. In addition to conducting the oxygen ions, these mixed-conductors allow electrons to move in the opposite direction for the formation of the oxygen ions on the feed side and oxygen molecules on the permeate side of the membrane. They have high oxygen permeation rates at theoretically infinite selectivity at elevated temperatures. Membranes can be fabricated as tubes or flat plates that are arranged in modules for efficient contacting with hot compressed air. High-purity oxygen permeate and nitrogen-enriched non-permeate products are withdrawn from the modules. A class of ITM membranes that are not mixed-conducting materials can also be used in this application. In these cases, the oxygen ions are driven through the membrane by applying an external voltage potential to 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.