Air Products has won a Technology Transfer Award from the US Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) for the development of its Ion Transport Membrane (ITM) technology for economically producing oxygen.
Air Products’ patented ITM oxygen production technology could significantly increase the efficiency and reduce the costs of coal-fired power plants, both with and without CO2 capture and storage systems.
ITM is a technology for gas separation that works by transporting an ionised gas through a ceramic membrane. The crystalline metal-oxide structure of the proprietary membranes incorporates oxygen ion vacancies, through which the oxygen ions diffuse. No external source of electrical power is required in the process.
The technology would be an alternative to traditional cryogenic air-separation units, the conventional means of producing the large quantities of oxygen required by an integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) plant and also the newer oxy-combustion electric power plants, which would capture CO2.
This process typically contributes up to 15 per cent of the capital cost of the plant and up to 80 per cent of the internal power demand.