Air Products’ ion transport membrane (ITM) technology has won a Technology Transfer Award by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

The award was presented at a recent ceremony held in New Orleans, Louisiana and acknowledges the highest annual achievements. EPRI acknowledged Air Products’ ‘Ion Transport Membrane for Lower-Cost Oxygen Production.

“We are honoured to have been presented an award by EPRI, recognising the advancement that ITM technology offers the energy industry. We believe ITM oxygen technology will play a role in advancing coal-based clean power generation both in today’s power market, and also in the anticipated carbon-constrained environment of the future.”

According to Air Products, the company’s patented ITM oxygen production technology offers several benefits. It increases efficiency, whilst also reducing the costs of advanced coal-fired power plants. The device harnesses ceramic material, which, once under pressure and temperature, ionizes and separates oxygen molecules from air. Most crucially, it does so without any external electrical power.

So just where can it be used?
The North American firm promotes ITM technology as an alternative to traditional cryogenic air separation units (ASUs) which is typically a costly initial outlay, contributing approximately 15% to overall plant costs, and very energy demanding, constituting about 80% of the internal power demand. ITM technology not only proffers cost reductions, but also reduces oxygen plant footprints – an aspect which might well prove popular with governing authorities as politics establishes the importance of environmental thinking.

Tom Alley, Vice President of Generation at EPRI presented the EPRI award to Air Products, he commented, “Air Products has been leader in the development and application of ITM oxygen technology since 1988. This leadership and involvement has significantly advanced the development of ITM oxygen technology that offers significant cost and performance benefits.”