Recent Advances in Catalysts and Membranes for MCH Dehydrogenation: A Mini Review

Membranes (Basel). 2021 Dec 1;11(12):955. doi: 10.3390/membranes11120955.


Methylcyclohexane (MCH), one of the liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs), offers a convenient way to store, transport, and supply hydrogen. Some features of MCH such as its liquid state at ambient temperature and pressure, large hydrogen storage capacity, its well-known catalytic endothermic dehydrogenation reaction and ease at which its dehydrogenated counterpart (toluene) can be hydrogenated back to MCH and make it one of the serious contenders for the development of hydrogen storage and transportation system of the future. In addition to advances on catalysts for MCH dehydrogenation and inorganic membrane for selective and efficient separation of hydrogen, there are increasing research interests on catalytic membrane reactors (CMR) that combine a catalyst and hydrogen separation membrane together in a compact system for improved efficiency because of the shift of the equilibrium dehydrogenation reaction forwarded by the continuous removal of hydrogen from the reaction mixture. Development of efficient CMRs can serve as an important step toward commercially viable hydrogen production systems. The recently demonstrated commercial MCH-TOL based hydrogen storage plant, international transportation network and compact hydrogen producing plants by Chiyoda and some other companies serves as initial successful steps toward the development of full-fledged operation of manufacturing, transportation and storage of zero carbon emission hydrogen in the future. There have been initiatives by industries in the development of compact on-board dehydrogenation plants to fuel hydrogen-powered locomotives. This review mainly focuses on recent advances in different technical aspects of catalytic dehydrogenation of MCH and some significant achievements in the commercial development of MCH-TOL based hydrogen storage, transportation and supply systems, along with the challenges and future prospects.

PMID:34940456 | DOI:10.3390/membranes11120955


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