392000 An economic performance evaluation study under uncertainty for Pd-based catalytic membrane reactor modules used for H2 production

Tuesday, November 18, 2014: 1:45 PM
312 (Hilton Atlanta)
Liang-Chih Ma, Nikolaos Kazantzis and Ed Ma, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA

A comprehensive economic performance evaluation framework for palladium-based catalytic membrane reactor (CMR) modules potentially integrated into hydrogen production (HP-CMR) through methane steam reforming process systems has been developed. The HP-CMR technology option offers a promising technical pathway towards hydrogen production with enhanced environmental performance in a carbon-constrained world, and since no significant operating experience has been accumulated at the industrial/commercial scale any preliminary attempt to assess its economic viability is certainly justified. Within the above context, the development of comprehensive baseline models for fixed capital investment (FCI), total capital investment (TCI), as well as total product cost (TPC) in order to evaluate the economic performance of the above industrial scale membrane reactor module represents a natural starting point in our study. Various sources of uncertainty (raw material market prices, utilities costs, labor costs, membrane lifetime and maintenance costs, financing costs, etc.) are explicitly recognized and the effect of these uncertainty drivers on FCI, TCI and TPC are explicitly taken into account using Monte-Carlo techniques. As a result, insightful distribution profiles of FCI, TCI and TPC are derived rather than single-point value estimates, and a more realistic distribution of membrane reactor module economic performance outcomes is generated through which “risks and opportunities” can be identified in the presence of uncertainty.  Furthermore,  preliminary results have shown that while expected values of the FCI and PC obtained from the above distribution profiles remain higher than the ones associated with the traditional/conventional methane steam reforming-based hydrogen production option (within a meaningful range of permeabilities, membrane length as well as input flow rates),  FCI and TPC profiles for HP-CMR become appealing by reducing palladium thickness (in terms of their respective expected values when comparatively assessed against the above conventional option in the presence of uncertainty). Finally, within the proposed economic performance evaluation framework Tornado diagrams have been also developed revealing and establishing the predominant role and effect of financing interest cost, palladium unit price and palladium membrane lifetime on the TCI and PC profiles.

Extended Abstract: File Not Uploaded
See more of this Session: Membrane Reactors
See more of this Group/Topical: Separations Division