The potential of the silica membrane reactors for use in the decomposition of hydrogen iodide (HI) was investigated by simulation with the aim of producing CO2-free hydrogen via the thermochemical water-splitting iodine-sulfur process. Simulation model validation was done using the data derived from an experimental membrane reactor. The simulated results showed good agreement with the experimental findings. The important process parameters determining the performance of the membrane reactor used for HI decomposition, namely, reaction temperature, total pressures on both the feed side and the permeate side, and HI feed flow rate were investigated theoritically by means of a simulation. It was found that the conversion of HI decomposition can be improved by up to four times (80%) or greater than the equilibrium conversion (20%) at 400 °C by employing a membrane reactor equipped with a tubular silica membrane. The features to design the membrane reactor module for HI decomposition of the thermochemical iodine-sulfur process were discussed under a wide range of operation conditions by evaluating the relationship between HI conversion and number of membrane tubes.
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