(Carl Wagner Memorial Award of the Electrochemical Society Address) Mixed Protonic-Electronic Membrane Reactors; Converting Hydrocarbon Resources and CO2 to Fuels

Tuesday, 3 October 2017: 10:10
National Harbor 7 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
E. D. Wachsman (University of Maryland)
Membrane reactor technology holds the promise to circumvent thermodynamic equilibrium limitations by in-situ removal of product species, resulting in improved chemical yields. Recent advances in mixed-conducting oxide-membrane technology present the possibility for a dramatic reduction in the cost of converting petroleum, coal and biomass derived feed stocks to hydrogen and other “value added” hydrocarbons. We have developed novel membrane reactor technology, based on high temperature proton conductors, that can convert a wide range of hydrocarbons to pure H2, and syngas for synthesis of liquid fuels and chemical feed stocks. By simultaneous H2 permeation and catalysis, we have demonstrated the ability to increase water gas shift yields >70% over thermodynamic limitations. Similarly we have demonstrated increases in steam reforming yields, and the ability to reform CH4 with CO2. The later creates the opportunity for a revolutionary method for carbon sequestration. Moreover, we have now developed single-step gas to liquid reactors that convert natural gas to C2+ products with high yields.