SBIR Phase I: Sub-10 nm protective coating on high-temperature hydrogen purification membrane

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
T3 Scientific LLC
1839 Noble Road, Saint Paul, MN, 55112
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Chung-Yi Tsai
(763) 784-1585
Business Contact:
Chung-Yi Tsai
(763) 784-1585
Research Institution:
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop a thin film protected membrane for high temperature hydrogen purification. The much anticipated hydrogen economy demands a robust and economical method for hydrogen purification and production. The state-of the-art membrane material for hydrogen purification has a major downside ? low tolerance for impurities, sulfur in particular. The solution is an ultra-thin protective coating. The new coated membrane will have high hydrogen selectivity and permeance at elevated temperatures and will be highly resistant to sulfur. To ensure the success of this project, three objectives are laid out: 1) demonstrate membrane performance under elevated temperatures and pressures, 2) demonstrate membrane stability with feedstream components such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water, and sulfur, and 3) demonstrate thermal resistance under thermal cycling. The resulting membrane is expected to exceed the goal of having a high hydrogen flux with >99.5% purity, tolerance to sulfur (100 ppm) and carbon dioxide, and the high stability required for potential industrial applications. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be the numerous benefits to its customers, the general public and the scientific community. The new membrane technology will offer a genuine value proposition in a number of applications, due to its high performance, thermal stability, robustness against contaminants, cost savings and minimal maintenance. The success of this proposed membrane will assist in enabling the much-awaited hydrogen economy, creating market pull for users in the hydrogen industry. This technology can readily be applied to hydrogen purification for oil refineries and for coal gasification. The proposed membrane system will also be invaluable to other markets, such as hydrogen for transportation, hydrogen separation for petrochemicals, hydrogen capture from ammonia purge gas in ammonia plants, hydrogen/carbon monoxide ratio adjustment for syngas, and hydrogen recovery from purge stream. The success of this project will have the larger societal benefits of reducing the dependence on foreign oil, reducing the environmental impacts of fossil fuel use, and provide a national competitive advantage in emerging energy technologies. Finally, the scientific understanding gained will benefit related fields, such as catalysis, and the semiconductor, electronics, and imaging industries.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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