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Steam separation enhanced reactions: review and outlook

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Author: Kampen, J. van · Boon, J. · Berkel, F.P.F. van · Vente, J.F. · Sint Annaland, M. van
Source:Chemical Engineering Journal, 374, 1286-1303
Identifier: 867481
Keywords: Reactive adsorption · Reactive vapor permeation · Steam separation · Separation enhancement · Dehydration reaction · Carbon/CO2 utilization · Industrial Innovation


Enhancement by steam separation is a promising process intensification for many types of reactions in which water is formed as a byproduct. For this, two main technologies are reactive vapor permeation (membrane technology) and reactive adsorption. Both can achieve significant conversion enhancement of equilibrium limited reactions by in situ removal of the by-product steam, while additionally it may help protecting catalysts from steam-induced deactivation. In general, reactive permeation or reactive adsorption would be preferable for distinctly different process conditions and requirements. However, although some advantages of reactive steam separation are readily apparent from a theoretical, thermodynamic point of view, the developments in several research lines make clear that the feasibility of in situ steam removal should be addressed case specifically and not only from a theoretical point of view. This includes the hydrothermal stability of the membranes and their permselectivity for reactive steam permeation, whereas high-temperature working capacities and heat management are crucial aspects for reactive steam adsorption. Together, these developments can accelerate further discovery, innovation and the rollout of steam separation enhanced reaction processes.