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Teesside University joins forces with Micropore Technologies to develop a new Hydrogen Catalyst membrane

Teesside University has announced that it is collaborating with Micropore Technologies, to develop a catalyst membrane required for a hydrogen catalytic membrane reactor (CMR).

The Tees Valley Hydrogen Innovation Project (TVHIP) run by Teesside University, and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), aims to support SMEs in the Tees Valley to become part of a cross-industry collaborative hydrogen network for knowledge and technical exchange.

Through the project, a research and development platform based at Teesside University is available to support the research and innovation of industrial solutions. This includes the development and trialling of a hydrogen CMR demonstrator unit. The CMR unit aims to reduce the temperatures required to generate hydrogen, a green fuel that when burned doesn’t produce harmful CO2 greenhouse gas emissions, just water and heat, so it can be used as a clean flexible fuel to decarbonise the energy systems we use to power transport, businesses, even homes using existing natural gas pipeline networks.

The new CMR hydrogen generation technology envisaged has the potential to reduce costs and carbon dioxide emissions in hydrogen generation. As a a globally recognised developer of an award-winning range of membrane-based emulsification equipment, the University’s Decarbonisation Team identified that Micropore’s patented technology could be used as the basis for the membrane component of the proposed new Catalytic Membrane Reactor (CMR).

Dai Hayward, CEO at Micropore said: “Having already established the benefits of Micropore’s unique technology in a wide range of fields from the production of vaccines to the manufacture of food and cosmetics, we are delighted that it could now also possibly play a role in accelerating society’s move away from a our problematic fossil-fuel based economy.”

The CMR project is currently in the process of adding a specialised catalyst coating to Micropore membranes before testing inside a laboratory scale hydrogen reactor at Teesside University. Various surface measurements will be taken to see how well the catalyst adheres to the surface, as well as the optimal sizing of the pores in the membrane for improved catalyst utilisation. Based on their efficacy, more advanced reactor geometries such as the tubular systems, as developed by Micropore, will be designed and fabricated.

Micropore is currently working with the University to develop a market-ready system. Dr Venkatesan Krishnan, Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Teesside University explains: “Catalytic Membrane reactor (CMR) technology is an example of ‘process intensification’, wherein different units in an industrial process can be combined into one high efficiency process.

Teesside University

The complexity of existing hydrogen production processes can be simplified massively and the Teesside University demonstrator lab will help SMEs take advantage of this new technology.

Dr Venkatesan Krishnan, Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Teesside University

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