Mechanistic studies of hydrogen transport through Mo2C/V composite membranes

Colin A. Wolden*, Kehinde Adeyemo, René H.J. Vervuurt, Mayur Ostwal, J. Douglas Way

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Composite membranes comprised of vanadium foils coated with molybdenum carbide catalyst layers were recently introduced as alternatives to palladium for high temperature separation of H2. Experiments using D2/H2 mixtures unambiguously show that the mechanism involves dissociation, proton transport, and subsequent recombination. Temperature-dependent measurements of H2 flux were performed on sets of membranes in which the thickness of both the V foil and the Mo2C layers were varied in order to provide insight into the underlying transport mechanisms. It is shown that hydrogen transport through the carbide itself can be limiting for catalyst layers >20nm. At temperatures <750°C the flux is highly activated, suggesting that dissociation of H2 on the carbide surface is the rate limiting step. At higher temperature the permeability decreases with temperature in good agreement with the theoretical predictions of the permeability of the underlying V metal. The permeability of these composite membranes significantly exceeds that of pure Pd, with values as high as 5.9×10-8molm/m2sPa0.5 at 750°C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-154
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
StatePublished - Jan 5 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support for this project from the U.S. Department of Energy through NETL award DE-FE0001009 . Sputtering was performed in the shared facilities of the NSF Renewable Energy Materials Research and Engineering Center ( DMR-0820518 ) at CSM.


  • BCC metals
  • Carbide catalysts
  • Hydrogen
  • Membranes
  • Vanadium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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