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Copper Palladium Hydrogen Separation Membranes

with Reduced Palladium Content and Improved Performance

National Energy Technology Laboratory

Contact NETL About This Technology

Technology Marketing Summary
This patent-pending technology, “Cu-Pd Hydrogen Separation Membranes with Reduced Palladium Content and Improved Performance,” consists of copper-palladium alloy compositions for hydrogen separation membranes that use less palladium and have a potential increase in hydrogen permeability and resistance to sulfur degradation compared to currently available copper-palladium membranes. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.
NETL is working to help produce and deliver hydrogen from fossil fuels including coal in commercially applicable and environmentally
acceptable ways. To achieve this strategic national goal, advanced hydrogen separation technologies are needed to supply tomorrow’s energy and transportation systems with affordable hydrogen fuel. The goal of NETL’s hydrogen separation membrane research is to develop cost-effective and robust gas separation technologies to facilitate hydrogen production from fossil fuels. Membranes already exist that can be used to separate hydrogen and carbon dioxide, producing high purity H2, which can be used as fuel, and high purity carbon dioxide, which is ready for sequestration. However, these membranes are expensive and vulnerable to common impurities in coal-derived syngas, such as hydrogen sulfide. Current membrane research is, therefore, focused
on increasing hydrogen permeability and decreasing membrane degradation in gases containing detrimental impurities.
Palladium is known to have high hydrogen selectivity and is consequentlythe one of the materials of choice for DOE research; however, palladium is expensive. This invention consists of copper-palladium alloy compositions that use less palladium than existing membranes. Adding copper and carefully selected ternary elements to palladium reduces the cost of the membrane while improving the resistance of the membrane to contaminants.
Provides less expensive membranes than existing palladium membranes
High resistance to degradation
Current data suggest high hydrogen permeability
Applications and Industries
Any fossil fuel refining process with hydrogen separation
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 8,608,829
Cu--Pd--M hydrogen separation membranes
The disclosure provides an H2 separation membrane comprised of an alloy having the composition Cu.sub.(100-x-y)Pd.sub.xM.sub.y, where x is from about 35 to about 50 atomic percent and where y is from greater than 0 to about 20 atomic percent, and where M consists of magnesium, yttrium, aluminum, titanium, lanthanum, or combinations thereof. The M elements act as strong stabilizers for the B2 phase of the alloy, and extend the critical temperature of the alloy for a given hydrogen concentration and pressure. Due to the phase stabilization and the greater temperature range over which a B2 phase can be maintained, the alloy is well suited for service as a H2 separation membrane, particularly when applicable conditions are established or cycled above about C. over the course of expected operations. In certain embodiments, the B2 phase comprises at least 60 estimated volume percent of the alloy at a steady-state temperature of C. The B2 phase stability is experimentally validated through HT-XRD.
National Energy Technology Laboratory 12/17/2013
Technology Status
Development StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated

Contact NETL About This Technology

To: Jessica Lamp<> <>