Membrane Reactors

In membrane reactors, the membrane is used to shift a chemical equilibrium or separate the products of a reaction. A wide variety of processes have been suggested, and a few have reached the commercial stage. A simple example is shown in Figure 25 - the reaction of «-butane to butadiene and hydrogen: C4H10 ^ C4H6 + 2H2.

This is an equilibrium reaction and in a conventional process a mixture of components is withdrawn from the reactor, separated, and the unreacted n-butane recirculated to the feed. In the membrane reactor, hydrogen is removed through the membrane so that the chemical equilibrium in the reactor is shifted to the right and the conversion of n-butane to butadiene is increased. Essentially pure butadiene leaves the reactor. This type of process is the subject of a considerable research effort, mostly using ceramic membranes operating at high temperatures. The development of these devices for the production of syngas (a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen) is the focus of very large research programmes at Air Products and Standard Oil. Promising results have been obtained in the laboratory, but scale-up to an economical process is still far off.

Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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