ECN publicatie:
Technical and economic evaluation on the use of membrane reactors for the dehydrogenation of propane to propylene
Gepubliceerd door: Publicatie datum:
ECN Energie Efficiency in de Industrie 1998
ECN publicatienummer: Publicatie type:
ECN-RX--97-021 Artikel wetenschap tijdschrift
Aantal pagina's:

Gepubliceerd in: Paper, presented at the 4th workshop in the European Science Foundation network on catalytic membrane reactors, held in Oslo, No (), , , Vol., p.-.

Inorganic membranes can enhance the conversion of dehydrogenationreactions by separating hydrogen and thereby shifting the equilibrium of this reaction. In order to judge the technical and economic possibilities of these membranes the dehydrogenation of propane to propylene has been chosen as model reaction. Membrane and reactor modelling and calculations in the study are supported by membrane testing under realistic conditions. The use of ceramic membranes in an isothermal reactor concept is more attractive than conventional dehydrogenation processes, even with low selective Knudsen diffusion membranes. However, this ceramic membrane reactor process is not yet competitive with e.g. steam cracking processes for propylene production. An increased driving force or a moderately increased membrane selectivity does not lead to positive results. Probably the only possibility is the combination of a high driving force (sweep gas or low permeate pressure) and a high selective membrane. Propane and propylene prices are the main actors in the introduction of a dehydrogenation process in general, thus also for processes based upon membrane reactors. At a price difference (propylene - propane) of 300 $/tonne or less membrane based dehydrogenation processes will hardly be economic feasible. In general, membranes to be applied should be stable under the working conditions. Also, coke formation on the membranes should not lead to dramatic reduction of permeation and selectivity and regeneration with steam should not be a problem. Other technical constraints can be the connection of membranes to the metal housing and construction of such membrane reactors. Lab scale membrane reactor experiments show important improvement in conversion and selectivity which, however, do not lead to an economic viable process. This shows that besides the technical possibilities also economics should be studied. 6 figs., 4 tabs., 12 refs.

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