An H.sub.2-permeable membrane system (117) comprises an electroless-deposited plating (115) of Pd or Pd alloy on a porous support (110, 110'). The Pd plating comprises face-centered cubic crystals cumulatively having a morphology of hexagonal platelets. The permeability to H.sub.2 of the membrane plating (115) on the porous support is significantly enhanced, being at least greater than about 1.3.times.10.sup.-8 molm.sup.-1s.sup.-Pa.sup.-0.5 at 350.degree. C., and even greater than about 3.4.times.10.sup.-8 molm.sup.-1s.sup.-1Pa.sup.-0.5. The porous support (110, 110') may be stainless steel (1100 and include a thin ceramic interlayer (110') on which the Pd is plated. The method of providing the electroless-deposited plating includes preheating a Pd electroless plating solution to near a plating temperature substantially greater than room temperature, e.g. 60.degree. C., prior to plating.
The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms, as provided for by the terms of Contract No. DE-FC36-02AL67628, formerly DE-FG04-2002AL67628, awarded by the Department of Energy.