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Solar-driven Hydrogen Production by the use of MIEC Membranes: A Techno-Economic Assessment
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis comprises an assessment of a novel concept to produce high purity hydrogen using mixed oxide ion/electronic conductor (MIEC) membranes and energy provided by solar concentrators (i.e. parabolic troughs or parabolic dishes). The vision of this concept is that it will be used to produce tons of high purity hydrogen for fuel cells, which is a scarce commodity with an increasing demand from residential and transportation power generation applications. The MIEC membrane activates a steam reforming reaction between water and methane to produce hydrogen of high purity on the water side and syngas on the fuel side. Expectations are that this concept has cost advantages over other thermo-chemical water-dissociation methods, using a lower temperature and no electricity for the reaction process.

The thesis’ focus is on techno-economic aspects of the concept, as part of an application process for project financing by the European Commission of Research and Innovation. The assessment in the thesis shows that the overall efficiency of the concept is expected to be very low. It also identifies the difficulties of providing stable working conditions for the concept. Suggestions to improve the concept are proposed to address the most urgent problems of the concept. These suggestions illuminate the opportunities that actually do exist to combine MIEC membranes, solar energy and thermo-chemical water splitting into a working concept. These improvements include using parabolic dishes instead of parabolic troughs, using furnaces with control systems and using a viable flow rate. The production capacity of high purity hydrogen is expected to be approximately 89 mg per minute in a membrane bundle (i.e. 150 thin membrane fibers with an oxygen permeation flux of 1 ml cm-2 min-1) if these improvements were implemented. This would imply that the studied concept needs further development to produce high purity hydrogen in quantities that could meet the shortage on the commercial fuel cell markets.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 93 p.
Keyword [en]
Ceramic, MIEC, Solar, CSP, water splitting, hydrogen, thermochemical process
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-104735OAI: diva2:570234
Subject / course
Energy Technology
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Industrial Engineering and Management
2012-11-09, ETT Library, Brinellvägen 68, Stockholm, 19:46 (English)
Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics
Available from: 2013-01-28 Created: 2012-11-09 Last updated: 2013-01-28Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson Mattias EGi-2012-109 MSC(3223 kB)766 downloads
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