SINO-GERMAN COOPERATION GROUP - Inorganic membranes: Advanced technology for clean energy and clear environment
Both in China and Germany, membrane technology has become a fast growing dignified separation technology since it works without the addition of chemicals, with a relatively low energy use and well-established process conductions. In the developed industrial countries, membrane technology covers increasingly areas like life sciences, health, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food and drinking water, desalination, sewage treatment, oil and gas, mineral extraction, power generation, and electronics. The first Sino-German Symposium on Novel Inorganic Membranes with Nano Design (GZ589) and the second Sino-German Symposium on Inorganic Membrane for Clean Energy and Clear Environment (GZ771), which were sponsored by the Sino-German Center for Science Promotion, were held 2010 in Guangzhou, and 2012 in Hannover. It was demonstrated by Workshops I and II, that membrane technology can especially contribute to two of mankind’s most urgent problems: Clean Energy and Clear Environment. As a result of Workshops I and II we identified the overlaps in the Chinese and German R&D work in 3 types of novel inorganic membranes: (1) Novel hydrogen transporting membranes (HTM) based on molecular sieves, ceramics or metals; (2) new oxygen transporting membranes (OTM) based on mixed oxygen conductors and dual phase materials; and (3) next generation of molecular sieve membranes (MSM) as zeolite and metal organic framework membranes. Further, the proper application of these new membranes requires progress in the engineering of membrane technology. After these two workshops, several Chinese-German research projects have been started (see scheme on following page). Within these projects breakthrough knowledge in the development and application of a new generation of inorganic membranes will be developed. The Cooperation Group is based on these projects and follows 4 aims to unify and coordinate the bilateral Chinese-German membrane research: a) Molecular understanding of inorganic membranes, b) Membrane and reaction engineering, c) Erection of a 3-step membrane reactor cascade for CO2 processing and hydrogen production in Guangzhou, d) Erection of a 2-step membrane reformer for hydrogen production in Hannover.