Dense oxygen permeable membrane supported water splitting is a potential technology for high purity hydrogen production. It utilizes thermochemical energy to split water to hydrogen with the membrane separating the products so that the water splitting extent is not constrained by its thermodynamic equilibrium. Meanwhile, when methane partial oxidation is integrated into the other side of the membrane, syngas is co-produced with stoichiometry H2/CO = 2. The carbon species will not mix with the H2/H2O mixture on the water side since the dense membrane is selective to oxygen permeation only. In this paper, the co-production of high purity hydrogen and syngas is studied in a monolith membrane reactor, and a computational model is developed to study the reactor performance and the associated material cost. Two types of membranes are investigated, i.e., La0.9Ca0.1FeO3-δ (LCF) and BaCoxFeyZrzO3-δ (BCFZ) membranes. Results show that the required BCFZ membrane surface area for the production of 100 kmol H2/h (from water splitting) is 5.3 times smaller than the required LCF area under base case conditions. Moreover, the cost study shows that the raw material cost depends on the price of the critical minerals such as cobalt, which are uncertain due to the demand and supply imbalance. Therefore, developing membrane materials with less critical minerals can benefit the implementation of the membrane reactor in an industry-scaled hydrogen production plant.
Keywords oxygen permeable membrane, water splitting, high purity hydrogen, cost analysis, reactor design