Detailed studying has been carried out towards choosing the appropriate materials to be utilized in the lab scale reactor, which could, also, prove ideal for large scale applications. After evaluation of the state of the art, it was concluded that the most common element for both hydrogen separation and methane reforming catalysis, used in membrane systems, is palladium most of the times alloyed with other metals.
Its high price, thought, leads to the search of other metals, exhibiting familiar catalytic behavior, like nickel, as feasible alternatives. Based on that, we focused, not only on the comparison between nickel and palladium catalytic membranes for methane reforming applications, but also on the selection of the more suitable coating method.
The scientific research was focused in the coating of ceramic membranes via a spark discharge metal nanoparticle generator device, which creates aerosol nanoparticles of a metal of our choice.
A laboratory setup was designed and implemented, combining the spark discharge metal nanoparticle generator device, a membrane cell, a vacuum pump, two mass flow controllers. The initial permeability values of the tubular alumina membrane were determined, before coating it with cooper nanoparticles in the spark discharge generator setup. Cooper was chosen for preliminary deposition experiments, because of its extended availability and low price, which will be replaced with Ni, Pd, or Pt, later. Until now, repeated cycles of metal nanoparticles deposition have taken place, followed by membrane permeability measurements in-between, for optimization of the catalyst quantity applied