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Stable Supported Pd-alloy Membranes

College of Engineering (COE)
Verweij, Hendrik
Shqau, Krenar
Licensing Manager
Bartell, Cordellia

T2008-064 A Pd-alloy membrane filter for hydrogen (H2) gas with improved strength and performance

The Need

Supported Pd-alloy membranes separate hydrogen from gas mixtures and enable hydrogen as an energy carrier. However, the dense Pd-alloy (PdA) structure only allows hydrogen gas to pass in the form of interstitial H atoms, which inhibits transfer of other gases through the membrane. Selective removal of hydrogen gas, such as for gasification and reforming of natural gas, can result in significant conversion enhancement and improved space yield. Currently, applications include production of pure hydrogen gas for use in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, membrane reactors with hydrogen gas semi-permeable walls, and coal-fired power plants. For the commercial applications of hydrogen separation, membranes with both high hydrogen selectivity and permeability (i.e., perm-selectivity) are required. Fabrication of thin and dense Pd alloy composite membranes on a porous metal support must be improved to create pore-free surfaces and an open structures at the interface between the Pd alloy films and the metal support.

    The Technology

    Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Hendrik Verweij, developed a stable supported Pd-alloy membrane that is used for the separation of hydrogen from gas mixtures. This membrane is thin (<200 nm) and free of pinholes that reduce selectivity and stability. The membrane is built with a coarse porous carrier structure for strength and intermediate layers to bridge from the coarse porosity to a fine porous deposition surface. The support structure can be, but is not limited to, a flat plate, a tube, or a multi-channel structure.

    Commercial Applications

    • Hydrogen power
    • Refining industry
    • Membrane filtration


    • Short and cost effective manufacturing cycles
    • Increased hydrogen gas production performance (<20 ppm CO)
    • Mechanical stability and strength
    • Improved homogeneity and reproducibility