Praxair determined (under a prior agreement with DOE) that the cost of CO2 capture utilizing oxygen transport membrane (OTM) air separation integrated with oxy-combustion is competitive with other CO2 capture processes when applied to large power plants. This work also demonstrated that durable OTMs for oxy-combustion can be fabricated to survive and operate reliably in a fuel environment. Praxair observed a zero percent failure rate for the OTM membranes during prior testing; however, the highly durable materials selected for the OTM reactors require substantial development in order to improve the oxygen flux through the system while maintaining durability and reducing manufacturing costs. In the first stage of this project, Praxair will further develop high-performance materials used for OTMs, optimize and test process configurations, validate manufacturing capabilities, and produce a preliminary engineering design for an OTM pilot plant system. With the addition of ARRA funding, the second stage of this project will focus on operating OTM modules in syngas and conducting oxy-combustion development- and pilot-scale tests incorporating critical system components required of commercial systems. Praxair will develop and operate a robust and reliable OTM module that will provide the foundation for commercial deployment of reactively driven ceramic membrane systems. Praxair will develop first-generation OTM modules and test them in a developmental-scale, fully integrated, multi-module syngas system producing 160,000 standard cubic feet per day (scfd) of syngas and incorporating components of a commercial system. Praxair will develop second-generation OTM modules incorporating improvements identified through module testing, and test them in a pilot-scale skidded, multi-module syngas system as well. All testing and modeling results will be evaluated to develop preliminary cost estimates for a demonstration-scale syngas system and a preliminary design for pilot-scale oxy-combustion system.
The focus of this project is the development of the oxygen transport membrane (OTM) technology for processing gaseous fuels. The OTM reduces oxygen production needs, lowering capital and operating costs, and produces a highly concentrated stream of CO2, providing a low-cost, near-zero emissions alternative for industrial processes used to process gaseous fuels. Specifically, this project will demonstrate a development-scale (~160,000 scfd syngas/ 200kWt equivalent) OTM oxycombustion and reformer unit to support design of a pilot-scale OTM process.
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