Novel Catalytic Membrane Micro-reactors for CO2 Capture via Pre-combustion Decarbonisation Route

Innovative solutions are required to develop new systems for CO2 capture. Here, we propose to develop a novel catalytic membrane micro-reactor for capture of CO2 and at the same time producing ultrapure hydrogen at low temperatures from fossil fuel such as methane (or coal/biomass). This involves a combination of several advanced catalysts and membrane technologies recently developed by us. The novel membrane to be developed consists of Al2O3 in the form of an asymmetric hollow fibre support onto which a series of modified-Ni (Fe,Cu), Ru or Rh catalysts will be deposited with a Pd or Pd-Ag alloy membrane coated onto the opposite side. Such an approach of fabricating an oxide support with active metal catalysts and a hydrogen separation layer for a combined function of reforming of fossil fuel and CO2 capture has not been attempted to date. The major advantage of this novel membrane micro-reactor is that, due to the low operating temperature and highly selective permeation of H2, high methane conversions can be achieved without catalyst deactivation enabling long term stability of the catalysts. The work will involve a highly multi-disciplinary effort with world-leading groups from UK and China to examine a number of key challenges mentioned above The proposal is distinctive in that the PDRAs and PhD student employed on the grant will travel to collaborating institutions for extended training in catalysis, membranes, modelling and system integration which will strengthen our research capability and increase the employability of the employed researchers.