Palladium based membranes and membrane reactors for hydrogen production and purification: An overview of research activities at Tecnalia and TU/e

Ekain Fernandez, A. Helmi, J. A. Medrano, K. Coenen, A. Arratibel, J. Melendez, N. C.A. de Nooijer, V. Spallina, J. L. Viviente, J. Zuñiga, M. van Sint Annaland, D. A. Pacheco Tanaka, F. Gallucci

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In this paper, the main achievements of several European research projects on Pd based membranes and Pd membrane reactors for hydrogen production are reported. Pd-based membranes have received an increasing interest for separation and purification of hydrogen. In addition, the integration of such membranes in membrane reactors has been widely studied for enhancing the efficiency of several dehydrogenation reactions. The integration of reaction and separation in one multifunctional reactor allows obtaining higher conversion degrees, smaller reactor volumes and higher efficiencies compared with conventional systems. In the last decade, much thinner dense Pd-based membranes have been produced that can be used in membrane reactors. However, the thinner the membranes the higher the flux and the higher the effect of concentration polarization in packed bed membrane reactors. A reactor concept that can circumvent (or at least strongly reduce) concentration polarization is the fluidized bed membrane reactor configuration, which improves the heat transfer as well. Tecnalia and TU/e are involved in several European projects that are related to development of fluidized bed membrane reactors for hydrogen production using thin Pd-based (<5 μm) supported membranes for different application: In DEMCAMER project a water gas shift (WGS) membrane reactor was developed for high purity hydrogen production. ReforCELL aims at developing a high efficient heat and power micro-cogeneration system (m-CHP) using a methane reforming fluidized membrane reactor. The main objective of FERRET is the development of a flexible natural gas membrane reformer directly linked to the fuel processor of the micro-CHP system. FluidCELL aims the Proof-of-Concept of a m-CHP system for decentralized off-grid using a bioethanol reforming membrane reactor. BIONICO aims at applying membrane reactors for biogas conversion to hydrogen. The fluidized bed system allows operating at a virtually uniform temperature which is beneficial in terms of both membrane stability and durability and for the reaction selectivity and yield.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13763-13776
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
    Issue number19
    Early online date6 Apr 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2017


    • Hydrogen production
    • Membrane manufacturing scale-up
    • Membrane reactor
    • Pd-membrane


    Dive into the research topics of 'Palladium based membranes and membrane reactors for hydrogen production and purification: An overview of research activities at Tecnalia and TU/e'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this