Composite hydrogen transport membranes, which are used for extraction of hydrogen from gas mixtures are provided. Methods are described for supporting metals and metal alloys which have high hydrogen permeability, but which are either too thin to be self supporting, too weak to resist differential pressures across the membrane, or which become embrittled by hydrogen. Support materials are chosen to be lattice matched to the metals and metal alloys. Preferred metals with high permeability for hydrogen include vanadium, niobium, tantalum, zirconium, palladium, and alloys thereof. Hydrogen-permeable membranes include those in which the pores of a porous support matrix are blocked by hydrogen-permeable metals and metal alloys, those in which the pores of a porous metal matrix are blocked with materials which make the membrane impervious to gases other than hydrogen, and cermets fabricated by sintering powders of metals with powders of lattice-matched ceramic.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY-SPONSORED RESEARCH
This invention was made with United States government support awarded through DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory Contract No. DE-FC26-OONT40762. The United States government has certain rights in this invention.