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Separation Needs for Fermentative Biohydrogen Enrichment with Membranes: Insights from Process Simulation
  • Xuezhong He,
  • Linfeng Lei,
  • Zhongde Dai
Xuezhong He
Guangdong Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Linfeng Lei
East China University of Science and Technology
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Zhongde Dai
Sichuan University
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Biohydrogen production from biomass dark fermentation provides a great potential to achieve a green hydrogen economy. However, the purification of fermentative biohydrogen requires advanced separation technologies. This work focuses on the techno-economic feasibility analysis of H2-selective carbon membrane systems for biohydrogen enrichment by investigation of process operating parameters and membrane materials. High vacuum operation is favorable to reduce the specific cost. While the feed compression operation provides better separation performance, and the minimum specific cost of $ 0.026/Nm3 was identified to achieve the biohydrogen recovery of 90 % with a feed pressure of 6 bar. A two-stage carbon membrane system is technically feasible to reach the biohydrogen purity of >99.5 vol.% with the specific cost of $ 0.06/Nm3, which is lower than pressure swing adsorption. Compared to enhancing the membrane selectivity, improving hydrogen permeance by developing submicrometer asymmetric carbon membranes is urgently needed to increase its competitiveness for biohydrogen purification.