Chemically-Stable Ceramic/Metal Composite Membrane for Hydrogen Separation

Market Overview:

This ceramic-metal composite membrane demonstrates excellent hydrogen permeation flux to facilitate high performance in hydrogen separation. The global hydrogen generation market has been valued at $115 Billion as of 2017 and expected to rise to $154 billion by 2022. This growth is influenced by hydrogen’s use as a fuel source and other applications in the petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and chemical manufacturing industries.  Currently, major issues with the process of hydrogen separation involve the cost and stability associated with separation membranes, which generally use expensive metals such as palladium and nickel. Clemson University researchers have developed a method to fabricate high-performance hydrogen permeation membranes that maintain expected mechanical strength, but also retain excellent chemical stability. These improvements allow for higher operating temperatures and more efficient hydrogen, decreasing overall costs.


Application                                                              Stage of Development

Hydrogen Separation and Production                       Lab bench prototype

Fertilizers, Petroleum



• Ceramic/metal membrane possess novel composition, increasing mechanical strength of the composite.

• Retains mechanical and chemical stability at high temperatures, making it more desirable than currently

  available commercial membranes.

• Does not require Palladium or other heavy metals, reducing capital and energy costs in hydrogen production.


Technical Summary

Hydrogen permeation membranes have applications in hydrogen production and separation. Membrane-based hydrogen separation is currently realized by Palladium-based membranes that are expensive and cannot be used in the high-temperature processes (800 °C) where hydrogen is produced. This technology entails a method for fabricating high-performance hydrogen permeation membranes that have excellent chemical stability in this temperature range. The M-BZYT membranes show excellent, high-hydrogen permeation flux and chemical stability in H2O, CO2, H2S and other contaminants while maintaining expected mechanical strength on par with traditional Palladium-based membranes. Active BZY powders and metal powders are mixed, pressed, and sintered to obtain dense composite membranes.


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Inventors:                         Dr. Kyle Brinkman, Dr. Fanglin Chen, & Dr. Shumin Fang


Patent Type:                    Utility


Serial Number:               14/678,372


CURF Ref No:                2014-099




Patent Information:
Advanced Materials
For Information, Contact:
Chris Gesswein
Director of Licensing
Clemson University Research Foundation
Kyle Brinkman
Fanglin Chen
Shumin Fang
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