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Novel Zeolite/polymer composite membrane

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0015108
Agency Tracking Number: 221076
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 12a
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-02-03
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-11-21
Small Business Information
124 Goldenthal Court
Cary, NC 27519-7368
United States
DUNS: 825479236
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Ashok Damle
 (919) 454-8461
Business Contact
 Ashok Damle
Title: Dr.
Phone: (919) 454-8461
Research Institution
 Ohio State University
100 W. 18th Avenue 100 W. 18th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1178
United States

 (614) 292-2187
 Nonprofit College or University

Light olefins such as ethylene and propylene are very important high volume commodity chemicals with production value more than $200B. These are used as building blocks for many essential chemicals and products. A major portion of the capital and operating cost in olefin production is for the olefin-paraffin separation by cryogenic distillation, which is highly energy and capital intensive consuming >0.12 quad/year of energy at a cost of $3B/yr. Alternative technologies for energy efficient olefin/paraffin separation will have tremendous impact on the cost of olefin production and ultimately on a variety of consumer products such as plastics and textiles. In the proposed approach, the energy requirement of the olefin/paraffin separation process will be reduced by using highly olefin selective zeolite membranes capable of operating at ambient temperatures. Furthermore, the proposed effort is aimed at reducing cost of zeolite membranes by synthesizing thin yet defect free zeolite membrane on flexible polymeric supports amenable for conventional low-cost polymer membrane fabrication technology. Proposed Phase I project will develop and demonstrate performance of a novel flexible zeolite on polymer composite membrane for energy efficient separation of olefins from paraffins with >50% reduction in energy requirements. The proposed structure will allow extremely thin zeolite layers of < 1 micron thickness increasing flux rate. Membrane selectivity will be increased by using facilitating cations in the zeolite structure as well as by sealing defects, if present, by an over-layer of thin highly permeable polymer coating. Costs will be lowered by an order of magnitude by rapid synthesis of zeolite Y/polymer membranes using conventional polymer membrane and module fabrication technology. Techno-economic analysis will be conducted to determine large scale manufacturing costs and feasibility of the proposed zeolite membrane-based process for propane/propylene separation. This project will develop an energy efficient flexible zeolite/polymer composite membrane-based process for low-cost olefins separation. Commercialization of this technology will reduce cost of producing commodity olefins such as ethylene and propylene which will ultimately impact a variety of consumer products such as common plastics and textiles.

Commercial applications and other benefits: The novel flexible zeolite on polymer composite membrane concept will reduce cost of olefin production which will further impact several consumer products in the downstream manufacturing processes. This concept will also spur other niche zeolite applications such as hydrocarbon isomer separation, ethanol dehydration by pervaporation membranes, natural gas liquid recovery, and CO2 separation from flue gases realizing long-awaited promise of zeolites.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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