Hydrogen Separations in Syngas Processes

Syngas Ratio Adjustment

Syngas (H2 + CO) is required to make a variety of products.  Each of these syngas derivatives has a specific ratio of H2 to CO in the feed syngas that is optimal for its production.  However, the H2:CO ratio produced is a function of the syngas process and the hydrocarbon feed. This ratio will not necessarily be optimal for downstream products. Therefore, some method for reducing the amount of hydrogen in the syngas is needed.

VaporSep-H2™ Solution

Syngas ratio adjustment using membranes

VaporSep-H2™ offers a simple method for separating H2 from syngas to adjust the H2:CO ratio. In a typical system, the feed gas is first cooled to remove condensable hydrocarbons, and then heated before entering the membrane. Hydrogen preferentially permeates through the membrane, producing a purified hydrogen "permeate" stream and a hydrogen-depleted "ratio-adjusted syngas" stream. This ratio adjustment can even produce high-purity CO for processes requiring it as a feed.


This VaporSep-H2™ unit adjusts the syngas ratio in a GTL demonstration plant
  • Efficient syngas and hydrogen recovery: membrane systems typically recover 90% to 98% of feed CO and produce a hydrogen product at 85 to 95 vol% purity.
  • Proven performance: many references for H2 /CO adjustment, including pressures as high as 130 bar and operating lifetimes of more than 10 years.
  • Long membrane life
  • Simple, reliable, and flexible unit; easy to install and operate: 
    • Integrates into existing operations with minimal modification
    • Simple installation and operation with compact skid-mounted construction
    • Requires no chemicals, contains no moving parts
    • Minimal utility usage: low pressure steam, instrument air, instrument power, N2

Application Areas

  • H2 purification
  • CO purification
  • Syngas ratio adjustment for the following:
    • Methanol, oxo alcohols
    • Gas-to-liquids (GTL), power turbine
    • H2 recovery from ammonia purge gas

Inquiry Form

Membrane Technology and Research, Inc. 39630 Eureka Drive, Newark, CA 94560 • (650) 328-2228