Project No: FE0004895
Performer: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Jenny Tennant
Gasification Systems Technology 
National Energy Technology Laboratory 
3610 Collins Ferry Road 
P.O. Box 880 
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880 

Darryl Shockley
Project Manager 
National Energy Technology Laboratory 
3610 Collins Ferry Road 
P.O. Box 880 M.S. P03D 
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880 

Yi (Ed) Hua Ma
Principal Investigator
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
100 Institute Road
Worcester, MA 01609 

Award Date:  10/01/2010
Project Date:  09/30/2015

DOE Share: $6,004,678.00
Performer Share: $1,501,799.00
Total Award Value: $7,506,477.00

Performer website: Worcester Polytechnic Institute -

Advanced Energy Systems - Gasification Systems

Engineering Design of Advanced H2 CO2 PD and PD/Alloy Composite Membrane Separations and Process Intensification

Project Description

Worcester Polytechnic Institute will demonstrate hydrogen separation from coal-derived syngas using palladium (Pd) and Pd alloy membranes on porous metal supports. The goal of the project is to carry out a comprehensive engineering design for advanced hydrogen-carbon dioxide (H2-CO2) Pd and Pd-alloy composite membrane separations with process intensification technologies that reduce the number of unit operations required for H2 production from a coal (coal-biomass)-based syngas.

Setup for testing pre-engineering/pilot scale membranes. Source: WPI

Setup for testing pre-engineering/pilot scale membranes. Source: WPI 

Program Background and Project Benefits

The Worcester Polytechnic Institute hydrogen transport membrane (HTM) project targets improvements in H2-CO2 separation membrane characteristics, including higher permeability, higher selectivity, and lower membrane cost. Specifically, the project will include R&D in improved membrane design, leading to the demonstration testing of the process at the pre-engineering/pilot scale of 2 lbs/day of H2. Increased efficiency and directly resulting cost reductions come by operating the transport membranes at higher temperature (in combination with warm gas cleanup technology being developed). HTM technology will be versatile, applicable to both integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) with over 90% carbon capture, and having the ability to make chemical grade H2 for liquid fuel, chemicals synthesis, and polygeneration applications.