News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Integrated Ion Transport Membrane and Combustion Turbine System", for Approval

August 26, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- From Washington, D.C., NewsRx journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Armstrong, Phillip A. (Allentown, PA); Demetri, Elia P. (Westford, MA), filed on April 4, 2014, was made available online on August 14, 2014 (see also Concepts ETI, Inc.).

The patent's assignee is Concepts ETI, Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Air can be separated at high temperatures to produce high-purity oxygen by the use of oxygen-permeable mixed metal oxide ceramic membranes. These membranes operate by the selective permeation of oxygen ions and may be described as ion transport membranes. The mixed metal oxide material used in ion transport membranes may be a mixed conductor that conducts both oxygen ions and electrons, wherein the permeated oxygen ions recombine at the permeate side of the membrane to form oxygen gas.

"The feed gas to ion transport membrane separation systems is an oxygen-containing gas (for example, air) that is compressed and heated prior to the membrane system to temperatures in the general range of 700.degree. C. to 1100.degree. C. A portion of the feed gas permeates the membrane and is recovered as a hot, high-purity oxygen permeate product. The hot pressurized non-permeate gas is partially depleted in oxygen and contains a significant amount of heat and pressure energy; this energy should be recovered to ensure that the overall oxygen generation process is economically feasible.

"In order to recover the considerable heat and pressure energy in the non-permeate gas, ion transport membrane systems can be integrated with energy generation and recovery systems using heat exchangers, combustors, gas turbines, steam turbines, and other heat utilization equipment. Since the non-permeate contains residual oxygen, it can be used as an oxidant stream in combustion processes such as, for example, combustion turbines or gas turbine engines. If the non-permeate has a low oxygen concentration, some bypass air may be mixed with the non-permeate to reach the flammability limit of most fuels used in a combustion process. The heat and pressure energy in the ion transport membrane non-permeate gas thus can be recovered as mechanical energy by gas turbine systems, and this energy can be considered a co-product with the high-purity oxygen permeate gas.

"It is well-known in the art to integrate an ion transport membrane system with a gas turbine engine wherein a portion of the gas turbine compressor output provides compressed air feed to the membrane system and the non-permeate stream from the membrane system is introduced directly into a generic gas turbine combustor. Detailed methods describing the integrated use of the non-permeate gas in specific gas turbine combustors, however, have not been disclosed in the art. Thus there is a need for specific methods to utilize the non-permeate gas from ion transport membrane systems in actual gas turbine combustors. This need is addressed by the embodiments of the invention described below and defined by the claims that follow."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, NewsRx correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "An embodiment of the invention relates to an integrated gas turbine combustion engine and ion transport membrane system comprising (a) a gas turbine combustion engine including (1) a compressor comprising a compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet and a compressor drive shaft; (2) a combustor comprising an outer shell, a combustion zone having one or more fuel inlets and one or more oxygen-containing gas inlets; a dilution zone adapted to receive combustion gas from the combustion zone, wherein the dilution zone has a combustion gas inlet, a combustion gas outlet, and one or more dilution gas inlets; and a combustion zone liner surrounding the combustion zone; (3) a combustion zone annular cooling region disposed between the outer shell and the combustion zone liner, wherein the combustion zone annular cooling region has one or more oxygen-containing gas inlets and is in flow communication with the combustion zone via at least one of the one or more oxygen-containing gas inlets; (4) a gas expander comprising an inlet in flow communication with the combustion gas outlet, an expansion turbine, and a work output shaft driven by the expansion turbine; and (5) piping that places the compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet of the compressor in flow communication with the combustion zone; (b) an ion transport membrane oxygen recovery system having at least one ion transport membrane module, wherein the membrane module includes a feed zone, a permeate zone, an oxygen ion transport membrane that isolates the feed zone from the permeate zone, a feed inlet to the feed zone, piping that places the feed inlet in flow communication with the compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet of the compressor, a feed zone outlet adapted to withdraw an oxygen-depleted non-permeate gas from the feed zone, and a permeate withdrawal outlet from the permeate zone; and piping that places the feed zone outlet of the membrane module in flow communication with any of the one or more dilution gas inlets.

"Another embodiment of the invention includes a method of operating an integrated combustion turbine and ion transport membrane system comprising (a) providing an integrated gas turbine combustion engine and ion transport membrane system that includes (1) a gas turbine combustion engine comprising (1a) a compressor having a compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet and a compressor drive shaft; (1b) a combustor comprising an outer shell, a combustion zone having one or more fuel inlets and one or more oxygen-containing gas inlets; a dilution zone adapted to receive combustion gas from the combustion zone, wherein the dilution zone has a combustion gas inlet, one or more dilution gas inlets, and a diluted combustion gas outlet; and a combustion zone liner surrounding the combustion zone; (1c) a combustion zone annular cooling region disposed between the outer shell and the combustion zone liner, wherein the combustion zone annular cooling region has one or more oxygen-containing gas inlets and is in flow communication with the combustion zone via at least one of the one or more oxygen-containing gas inlets; (1d) a gas expander having an inlet in flow communication with the diluted combustion gas outlet, an expansion turbine, and a work output shaft driven by the expansion turbine; and (1e) piping that places the compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet of the compressor in flow communication with the combustion zone; (b) providing an ion transport membrane oxygen recovery system having at least one ion transport membrane module, wherein the membrane module includes a feed zone, a permeate zone, an oxygen ion transport membrane that isolates the feed zone from the permeate zone, a feed inlet to the feed zone, piping that places the feed inlet in flow communication with the compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet of the compressor, a feed zone outlet adapted to withdraw an oxygen-depleted non-permeate gas from the feed zone, and a permeate withdrawal outlet from the permeate zone, and providing piping that places the feed zone outlet of the membrane module in flow communication with any of the one or more dilution gas inlets; compressing air in the compressor to provide the compressed oxygen-containing gas and combusting fuel with a first portion of the compressed oxygen-containing gas in the combustion zone to generate a hot combustion gas; diluting the hot combustion gas with a dilution gas to form a diluted hot combustion gas; and expanding the diluted hot combustion gas in the hot gas expansion turbine to generate shaft work; (d) heating a second portion of the compressed oxygen-containing gas to provide a hot compressed oxygen-containing gas and introducing the hot compressed oxygen-containing gas into the feed zone of the membrane module, withdrawing an oxygen-depleted non-permeate gas from the feed zone, and withdrawing a permeate gas from the permeate withdrawal outlet of the permeate zone; and (e) introducing at least a portion of the oxygen-depleted non-permeate gas into the dilution zone.

"A related embodiment of the invention includes an integrated gas turbine combustion engine and ion transport membrane system comprising (a) a gas turbine combustion engine including (1) a compressor having a compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet and a compressor drive shaft; (2) a combustor comprising an outer shell, a combustion zone having a combustible gas inlet and one or more oxygen-containing gas inlets; and a combustion zone liner surrounding the combustion zone; (3) a combustion zone annular cooling region disposed between the outer liner and the combustion zone liner, wherein the combustion zone annular cooling region has an oxygen-containing gas inlet and is in flow communication with the combustion zone via at least one of the one or more oxygen-containing gas inlets; (4) a gas expander comprising an inlet in flow communication with the combustion gas outlet, an expansion turbine, and a work output shaft driven by the expansion turbine; and (5) piping adapted to transfer a first portion of the compressed oxygen-containing gas from the compressor to the oxygen-containing gas inlet of the combustion zone cooling region; (b) an ion transport membrane oxygen recovery system having at least one ion transport membrane module, wherein the membrane module includes a feed zone, a permeate zone, an oxygen ion transport membrane that isolates the feed zone from the permeate zone, a feed inlet to the feed zone, piping that places the feed inlet in flow communication with the compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet of the compressor, a feed zone outlet adapted to withdraw an oxygen-depleted non-permeate gas from the feed zone, and a permeate withdrawal outlet from the permeate zone; a mixing zone, piping adapted to transfer a second portion of the compressed oxygen-containing gas from the compressor to the mixing zone, piping adapted to transfer the oxygen-depleted non-permeate gas from the feed zone to the mixing zone; and (d) piping adapted to transfer a mixture comprising the second portion of the compressed oxygen-containing gas and the oxygen-depleted non-permeate gas into the combustion zone.

"Another related embodiment includes a method of operating an integrated combustion turbine and ion transport membrane system comprising (a) providing an integrated gas turbine combustion engine and ion transport membrane system that includes (1) a gas turbine combustion engine including (1a) a compressor having a compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet and a compressor drive shaft; (1b) a combustor comprising an outer shell, a combustion zone having a combustible gas inlet and one or more oxygen-containing gas inlets; and a combustion zone liner surrounding the combustion zone; (1c) a combustion zone annular cooling region between the combustion zone and the combustion zone liner, wherein the combustion zone annular cooling region has an oxygen-containing gas inlet and is in flow communication with the combustion zone via at least one of the one or more oxygen-containing gas inlets; and (1d) a gas expander having an inlet in flow communication with the combustion gas outlet, an expansion turbine, and a work output shaft driven by the expansion turbine; (b) providing an ion transport membrane oxygen recovery system having at least one ion transport membrane module, wherein the membrane module includes a feed zone, a permeate zone, an oxygen ion transport membrane that isolates the feed zone from the permeate zone, a feed inlet to the feed zone, piping that places the feed inlet in flow communication with the compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet of the compressor, a feed zone outlet adapted to withdraw an oxygen-depleted non-permeate gas from the feed zone, and a permeate withdrawal outlet from the permeate zone; compressing air in the compressor to provide the compressed oxygen-containing gas, dividing the compressed oxygen-containing gas into a first portion, a second portion, and a third portion, and introducing the first portion into the combustion zone annular cooling region; (d) heating the second portion of the compressed oxygen-containing gas to provide a hot compressed oxygen-containing gas and introducing the hot compressed oxygen-containing gas into the feed zone of the membrane module, withdrawing the oxygen-depleted non-permeate gas from the feed zone, and withdrawing a permeate gas from the permeate withdrawal outlet of the permeate zone; (e) mixing the third portion of the compressed oxygen-containing gas with the oxygen-depleted non-permeate gas from the feed zone to form a mixed oxygen-depleted gas, combusting a fuel with the mixed oxygen-depleted gas in the combustion zone to generate the hot combustion gas, and expanding the hot combustion gas in the hot gas expansion turbine to generate shaft work.

"A further embodiment of the invention relates to an integrated gas turbine combustion engine and ion transport membrane system comprising (a) a gas turbine combustion engine including (1) a compressor comprising a compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet and a compressor drive shaft; (2) a combustor comprising a combustion zone having a combustible gas inlet and one or more oxygen-containing gas inlets; a dilution zone adapted to receive combustion gas from the combustion zone, wherein the dilution zone has a combustion gas inlet, a combustion gas outlet, and a one or more dilution gas inlets; (3) a gas expander comprising an inlet in flow communication with the combustion gas outlet, an expansion turbine, and a work output shaft driven by the expansion turbine; and (4) piping that places the compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet of the compressor in flow communication with the combustion zone; (b) an ion transport membrane oxygen recovery system having at least one ion transport membrane module, wherein the membrane module includes a feed zone, a permeate zone, an oxygen ion transport membrane that isolates the feed zone from the permeate zone, a feed inlet to the feed zone, piping that places the feed inlet in flow communication with the compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet of the compressor, a feed zone outlet adapted to withdraw an oxygen-depleted non-permeate gas from the feed zone, and a permeate withdrawal outlet from the permeate zone; and piping that places the feed zone outlet of the membrane module in flow communication with any of the one or more dilution gas inlets.

"Another further embodiment of the invention includes a method of operating an integrated combustion turbine and ion transport membrane system comprising (a) providing an integrated gas turbine combustion engine and ion transport membrane system that includes (1) a gas turbine combustion engine comprising (1a) a compressor having a compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet and a compressor drive shaft; (1b) a combustor comprising a combustion zone having a combustible gas inlet and one or more oxygen-containing gas inlets; and a dilution zone adapted to receive combustion gas from the combustion zone, wherein the dilution zone has a combustion gas inlet, a one or more dilution gas inlets, and a diluted combustion gas outlet; (1c) a gas expander having an inlet in flow communication with the diluted combustion gas outlet, an expansion turbine, and a work output shaft driven by the expansion turbine; and (1d) piping that places the compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet of the compressor in flow communication with the combustion zone; (b) providing an ion transport membrane oxygen recovery system having at least one ion transport membrane module, wherein the membrane module includes a feed zone, a permeate zone, an oxygen ion transport membrane that isolates the feed zone from the permeate zone, a feed inlet to the feed zone, piping that places the feed inlet in flow communication with the compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet of the compressor, a feed zone outlet adapted to withdraw an oxygen-depleted non-permeate gas from the feed zone, and a permeate withdrawal outlet from the permeate zone, and providing piping that places the feed zone outlet of the membrane module in flow communication with any of the one or more dilution gas inlets; compressing air in the compressor to provide the compressed oxygen-containing gas and combusting fuel with a first portion of the compressed oxygen-containing gas in the combustion zone to generate a hot combustion gas; diluting the hot combustion gas with a dilution gas to form a diluted hot combustion gas; and expanding the diluted hot combustion gas in the hot gas expansion turbine to generate shaft work; (d) heating a second portion of the compressed oxygen-containing gas to provide a hot compressed oxygen-containing gas and introducing the hot compressed oxygen-containing gas into the feed zone of the membrane module, withdrawing an oxygen-depleted non-permeate gas from the feed zone, and withdrawing a permeate gas from the permeate withdrawal outlet of the permeate zone; and (e) introducing at least a portion of the oxygen-depleted non-permeate gas into the dilution zone.

"An optional embodiment of the invention includes a method of operating an integrated combustion turbine and ion transport membrane system comprising (a) providing an integrated gas turbine combustion engine and ion transport membrane system that includes (1) a gas turbine combustion engine comprising (1a) a compressor having a compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet and a compressor drive shaft; (1b) a combustor comprising a combustion zone having a combustible gas inlet and one or more oxygen-containing gas inlets; and a dilution zone adapted to receive combustion gas from the combustion zone, wherein the dilution zone has a combustion gas inlet, a one or more dilution gas inlets, and a diluted combustion gas outlet; and (1c) a gas expander having an inlet in flow communication with the diluted combustion gas outlet, an expansion turbine, and a work output shaft driven by the expansion turbine; (b) providing an ion transport membrane oxygen recovery system having at least one ion transport membrane module, wherein the membrane module includes a feed zone, a permeate zone, an oxygen ion transport membrane that isolates the feed zone from the permeate zone, a feed inlet to the feed zone, piping that places the feed inlet in flow communication with the compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet of the compressor, a feed zone outlet adapted to withdraw an oxygen-depleted non-permeate gas from the feed zone, and a permeate withdrawal outlet from the permeate zone, and providing piping that places the feed zone outlet of the membrane module in flow communication with any of the one or more dilution gas inlets; compressing air in the compressor to provide a compressed oxygen-containing gas, heating at least a portion of the compressed oxygen-containing gas to provide a hot compressed oxygen-containing gas, and introducing the hot compressed oxygen-containing gas into the feed zone of the membrane module, withdrawing an oxygen-depleted non-permeate gas from the feed zone, and withdrawing a high-purity oxygen permeate gas from the permeate withdrawal outlet of the permeate zone; and (d) combusting fuel with at least a portion of the high-purity oxygen permeate gas in the combustion zone to generate a hot combustion gas; diluting the hot combustion gas with a dilution gas to form a diluted hot combustion gas; and expanding the diluted hot combustion gas in the hot gas expansion turbine to generate shaft work.

"A final embodiment of the invention relates to an integrated gas turbine combustion engine and ion transport membrane system comprising (a) a gas turbine combustion engine including a compressor with a compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet; a combustor comprising an outer shell, a combustion zone in flow communication with the compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet, and a dilution zone in flow communication with the combustion zone and having one or more dilution gas inlets; and a gas expander; and (b) an ion transport membrane oxygen recovery system with an ion transport membrane module that includes a feed zone, a permeate zone, a feed inlet to the feed zone in flow communication with the compressed oxygen-containing gas outlet of the compressor, a feed zone outlet, and a permeate withdrawal outlet from the permeate zone; wherein the feed zone outlet of the membrane module is in flow communication with any of the one or more dilution gas inlets of the combustor dilution zone.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of an exemplary gas turbine engine combustor.

"FIG. 2 is a schematic flowsheet of an integrated ion transport membrane oxygen separation system integrated with a gas turbine combustion engine according to an embodiment of the invention.

"FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a gas turbine engine combustor for use in the embodiment of FIG. 2.

"FIG. 4 is a schematic flowsheet of an integrated ion transport membrane oxygen separation system integrated with a gas turbine combustion engine according to another embodiment of the invention.

"FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of a gas turbine engine combustor for use in the embodiment of FIG. 4.

"FIG. 6 is a schematic flowsheet of an integrated ion transport membrane oxygen separation system integrated with a gas turbine combustion engine according to an alternative embodiment of the invention.

"FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram of a gas turbine engine combustor for use in the embodiment of FIG. 6.

"FIG. 8 is a schematic flowsheet of an integrated ion transport membrane oxygen separation system integrated with a gas turbine combustion engine for a baseline system in Example 1.

"FIG. 9 is a plot of oxygen production rate and electric power output vs. combined air/non-permeate gas temperature in Example 4.

"FIG. 10 is a plot of lean blowout equivalence ratio vs. temperature for pre-mixed methane/air flames in Example 5.

"FIG. 11 is a plot of the equivalence ratio in the combustor and the temperature of the mixed air/non-permeate stream to the combustor vs. the percentage of air from the gas turbine compressor sent to the ion transport membrane system in Example 5."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Armstrong, Phillip A.; Demetri, Elia P. Integrated Ion Transport Membrane and Combustion Turbine System. Filed April 4, 2014 and posted August 14, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=7578&p=152&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140807.PD.&OS=PD/20140807&RS=PD/20140807

Keywords for this news article include: Chalcogens.

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Source: Life Science Weekly


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