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Inorganic membranes, membrane modules and membrane reactors

SINTEF develops inorganic membranes for use in separation, liquid handling and chemical reactors. The membrane properties are optimized by advanced modelling, and by controlling the material composition and geometric structure.

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We develop tubular and flat membranes that are integrated into an effective module design, and the performance is simulated and tested under realistic operating conditions.

Hydrogen selective membranes

  • Membranes are prepared by magnetron sputtering of thin films of palladium alloys, which are subsequently applied onto porous support structures. These membranes have very high flux and selectivity for hydrogen. Temperature of application is between 350 and 600°C. (TRL 1-4)
  • Membranes, for use at higher temperatures (above 600°C), are manufactured by depositing a dense proton conducting ceramic layer on a porous supporting structure of a ceramic material. The membrane layer and the supporting structure are produced using advanced synthesis and forming methods (TRL 1-4)

Oxygen selective membranes

  • Membranes of oxygen ion conducting ceramics used at high temperatures (above 700°C), can be used to produce pure oxygen. Combustion of fossil fuels in oxygen, compared to use of air, facilitates CO2 separation after combustion (TRL 1-4)

Dual phase membranes

  • We are also developing dual-phase membranes with liquid carbonate for separation of CO2 and oxygen from various gas mixtures. The working temperature is 400-700°C. (TRL 1-3)

Catalytic membranes and membrane reactors

Inorganic membranes may be impregnated or integrated with a catalyst to speed up the desired chemical reactions.

  • Hydrogen selective membranes can be used in the reforming of natural gas (methane) and for the dehydrogenation of hydrocarbons in catalytic membrane reactors. Through modelling of the membrane reactor and process conditions, optimized yield can be achieved. (TRL 1-3)
  • By means of a catalytic or photo-catalytic membrane, SINTEF has developed a method for the oxidation of undesirable substances in wastewater. The objective of the membrane is to ensure optimum contact between the waste molecules, oxidizing agent (oxygen from air) and catalyst. (TRL 1-4)


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