Oxygen transport membranes getting closer to real world applications at DTU

Test of performance in gasifier-fed conditions and advances in the design of the prototype module to couple to VTT gasifier

Oxygen transport membranes, or OTMs, is a technology that enables separation of oxygen from air with no expense, very little electric energy, and it’s easily scaled up or down to the size of the plant requiring an oxygen supply. The technology is particularly attractive in small scale applications for distributed power generation and micro grids, where the application of classic cryogenic separation systems would prove too expensive.

The activities carried out at DTU for WP3 aim to i) assess the performance of the OTMs in gas compositions present in VTT gasifier in WP4 and ii) design an OTM prototype module that will be physically coupled to VTT gasifier to demonstrate the feasibility of the concept.

A test campaign was carried out on single tubes in DTU laboratories and provided very promising results. The tubes were characterized by testing them in a range of temperatures and compositions up to 1000C, including the composition of the producer gas obtained by VTT’s gasifier, and it was possible to confirm the capability of the tubes to achieve the target of oxygen permeation flux of 3 ml/min*cm2 set for the project.

The design of the OTM module was completed and the construction is proceeding. The module will be hosted in a compact, autonomous test stand, installed with all the necessary equipment for testing the prototype and the safety devices to ensure smooth and safe operation.

The next steps on DTU side will be the assessment of long term stability of the single tubes in simulated producer gas atmosphere (250h operation) in parallel with the construction of the module and the preliminary troubleshoot and testing of the prototype in the designed operative conditions.

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