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Power+Energy Ships Next-Generation Micro-Channel Hydrogen Purifiers

Power+Energy Inc. (P+E) has shipped two high-capacity micro-channel hydrogen purifiers to a customer located in the Middle East. Each of the two model PE91370S units shipped has the capacity to purify 2,900 cubic feet per hour (82 cubic meters per hour) of hydrogen at standard operating conditions.

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Basic operation of the P+E purifier. Source: Power+Energy. Click to enlarge.

Using advanced membrane technology developed under a series of Defense Department contracts, Power+Energy has increased the maximum capacity of its PE9000S series purifiers by 300% while still maintaining the smallest system footprint among its competitors.

P+E’s proprietary micro-channel membrane design greatly increases membrane area per unit volume and reduces floor space required by up to 75%. The P+E unit also reduces power consumption by 80% compared to comparable systems. When combined with the 98% hydrogen recovery efficiency, the result is the lowest cost of ownership available while consistently delivering high purity hydrogen with less than one part per billion (ppb) total impurities.

A P+E Hydrogen Purifier consists of one or more 316L stainless steel cells which contain coiled silver palladium tubing. The cells operate at a temperature of 400 °C.

When the feed gas is brought into contact with the inner wall of the tubing (an Inside-Out approach, rather than an Outside-In), molecular hydrogen dissociates into atomic hydrogen and is absorbed into the metal lattice. While diffusing through the lattice, individual hydrogen atoms share their electron with the palladium. The hydrogen atoms recombine on the low pressure side of the wall and are desorbed as hydrogen molecules.

Movement of gas through the purifier cell is driven by the pressure gradient. The pressure inside the coiled tubing is greater than the pressure on the outside, so the ultra pure hydrogen is forced through the tubing wall. The diffusion rate of atomic hydrogen through the solver palladium lattice at 400 °C is more than 9 orders of magnitude faster than that of common impurities such as carbon or oxygen. The impurities continue to move through the tubing to eventually exit out of the purifier through the bleed port.

Power+Energy Inc. offers a wide range of micro-channel hydrogen purifier capacities for semiconductor and photovoltaic device manufacturing, materials processing, instrumentation and laboratory use. In addition, this purifier supports fuel cell applications, delivering hydrogen that complies with the SAE-J2719 guideline for automotive fuel cells.

In addition to its purifier products, P+E supplies hydrogen separation systems for removing hydrogen from reformed fuels including ethanol, diesel and military logistic fuels. P+E’s micro-channel membranes offer both consistently high purity and high hydrogen recovery rates for both types of systems.

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