Faculty Advisor

Ma, Yi Hua


The effects of support material on the permeation characteristics of composite Pd membranes were examined. Membranes supported on uncoated porous stainless steel (USS) and zirconia (ZrO2) coated porous stainless steel were prepared by electroless plating. The reduced and uniform pore size of the ZrO2 made it possible to obtain a 6.9 um thick Pd layer, while that of the USS was 54.1 um. H2 flux testing conducted between 300-400C found that the membranes followed Sieverts Law. The thin Pd layer allowed for a higher flux, while the greater thickness of the USS membrane allowed for a higher selectivity. The reduced pore size of the ZrO2 increased the mass transfer resistance, resulting in a lower percentage of the maximum achievable permeability.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2009


Chemical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Chemical Engineering