MRT™’s Pure Hydrogen Generator

MRT™'s integrated hydrogen generation system includes all equipment required to convert as-supplied natural gas to pure, pressurized hydrogen. Natural gas is conditioned by sulfur removal, compression and preheating before feeding to the single step membrane reactor. A combination pre-heater, using reactor off gas as fuel, also raises the steam needed for the reforming reaction. The heart of the system is the membrane reactor where the natural gas and steam mix intimately with catalyst in a fluidized bed, ensuring optimum heat and mass transfer conditions. Perm-selective membranes within the reactor continuously withdraw pure hydrogen driving the equilibrium forward and maximizing the yield of hydrogen from the natural gas feed. Optimized internal oxidation provides additional energy to drive the reaction. Heat integration is maximized to recover energy. Compressors within the system for natural gas, air and hydrogen are selected based on the available supplies and to meet the needs of the end-user.

The system is designed for automated, unattended operation with key parameters monitored and controlled and for fail-safe operation by an on-board controller. The unit is designed for compactness and ease of access and is delivered on a self-contained, enclosed skid.

Membranes are the key

Membranes are the key to MRT™’s success in developing simple, cost-effective processes for making pure hydrogen.  Whether in Fluid Bed Membrane Reformers or in HydRec™ hydrogen purifiers and recovery units, MRT™ can draw on a broad range of membrane thicknesses and compositions to suit a variety of applications.

MRT™’s Membrane Technology

MRT™ has advanced the science and practical aspects of using metallic membranes for hydrogen separation.  Thin films of Palladium-containing alloys demonstrate unique properties when it comes to hydrogen.  Hydrogen molecules dissociate on the membrane surface and, as individual atoms, diffuse through the membrane film under a pressure and concentration gradient.  Pure hydrogen molecules then re-associate on the inside surface and are drawn away.  Providing the membrane is intact, nothing else passes through, resulting in extremely high selectivity for hydrogen and the capability to produce hydrogen of 99.999% purity and beyond.

Membranes are manufactured either as rolled foils or as deposited thin films.  While Palladium-based foils of common compositions are available commercially, MRT™ has developed its own alloy compositions for added performance and robustness.  In addition, a patent-pending bonding technique has been developed to permanently attach membranes to support modules with a perfect, hydrogen-tight seal.

For membranes thinner than 15 microns, MRT™ uses a proprietary coating technique.  Prototype membranes as thin as 8 microns have been produced and show excellent performance and longevity.