Case 8203

Integrated fast thermal response palladium-based micromembranes for hydrogen separation and hydrogenation/dehydrogenation reactions


Micromembrane, hydrogen separation, membrane reactors, dehydrogenation reactors, thermal response, microchemical reactor technology, silicon wafer, fuel efficiency, palladium membrane surface


Portable power generation systems, hydrogenation/dehydrogenation reactions, fuel cell technology


Thermal response time in hydrogen-generating and purification reactions


This invention relates to methods of membrane preparation for hydrogen purification, and miniature devices incorporating these membranes. The general function of the integrated, palladium-based micromembranes is to achieve a selective flux of hydrogen through the membrane. The micromembranes can be manufactured using standard microfabrication technology, and consist of a very thin membrane enclosing a channel etched in a silicon wafer. Further, the membrane consists of three layers: silicon nitride, silicon oxide, and palladium.

  • Fast thermal response time (< 10 ms) of the membranes
  • Reduced power requirements for operation

  • Professor Martin Schmidt (Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT)
  • Professor Klavs Jensen (Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT)
  • Aleksander Franz (Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT)
  • Samara Firebaugh (Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

US Patent Number 6,541,676; issued April 1, 2003

US Patent Number 6,810,899; issued November 2, 2004


B. Wilhite, M. Schmidt, and K. Jensen. Palladium-Based Micromembranes for Hydrogen Separation: Device Performance and Chemical Stability. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2004, 43 (22), pp 7083–7091, DOI: 10.1021/ie0496028

Last revised: November 5, 2010

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