DEVELOPMENT OF HOLLOW-FIBER MODULES FOR THE PURIFICATION OF NATURAL GAS

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 14453
Amount: $493,602.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1992
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Bend Research Inc.
64550 Research Road, Bend, OR, 97701
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Scott B Mccray
 Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: (503) 382-4100
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
NATURAL GAS PROVIDES AN INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT PORTION OF THE U.S. ENERGY SUPPLY. ESTIMATED U.S. GAS RESERVES ARE ABOUT 1,000 TRILLION STANDARD CUBIC FEET (SCF), OR ABOUT 1,000 QUADS. ALL NATURAL GAS AT THE WELLHEAD CONTAINS CONTAMINANTS THAT MUST BE REMOVED BEFORE THE GAS IS TRANSPORTED THROUGH PIPELINES. CONVENTIONAL NATURAL GAS PURIFICATION PROCESSES ARE RECEIVING INCREASED ENVIRONMENTALSCRUTINY BECAUSE THEY RELEASE HARMFUL TREATMENT CHEMICALS ORUNDESIRABLE NATURAL GAS COMPONENTS TO THE ENVIRONMENT. PROCESSES BASED ON SYNTHETIC MEMBRANES ARE POTENTIALLY IDEALFOR THE ENVIRONMENTALLY ACCEPTABLE AND ECONOMICAL REMOVAL OF THOSE CONTAMINANTS. HOWEVER, CURRENT MEMBRANE PROCESSES CANNOT PERFORM MANY OF THE SEPARATIONS REQUIRED, PRIMARILY BECAUSE OF LIMITATIONS OF COMMERCIAL MEMBRANE-MODULE DESIGNSAND CURRENT MEMBRANE MATERIALS. THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROJECT IS TO DEVELOP TUBE-SIDE-FEED HOLLOW-FIBER MODULES BASED ON A NEW CLASS OF MEMBRANES FOR THE PURIFICATION (SPECIFICALLY,DEHYDRATION) OF NATURAL GAS. THE MEMBRANES IN THOSE MODULESCONSIST OF A HIGH STRENGTH, CHEMICALLY RESISTANT, MICROPOROUS, HOLLOW FIBER THAT SUPPORTS A HIGHLY SELECTIVE COATING ON THE LUMEN (INTERIOR) SURFACE. TUBE-SIDE-FEED HOLLOW-FIBER MEMBRANE MODULES CONTAINING THESE NEW MEMBRANESOFFER THE ABILITY TO OVERCOME THE LIMITATIONS OF CURRENTLY AVAILABLE MEMBRANE MODULES, THEREBY GREATLY EXPANDING THE USE OF MEMBRANES FOR TREATING NATURAL GAS. PHASE I OF THIS PROJECT IS AIMED AT DEVELOPING THE HIGH STRENGTH, CHEMICALLYRESISTANT SUPPORT FIBERS NEEDED FOR THESE MEMBRANES. THE APPROACH IS TO COAT THE FIBERS WITH A PERMSELECTIVE MATERIALTHAT HAS PROVED EFFECTIVE FOR DEHYDRATION OF COMPRESSED GASES, INCLUDING NATURAL GAS. SMALL MODULES MADE USING THESE FIBERS ARE THEN TESTED ON A SYNTHETIC NATURAL GAS STREAM. IN PHASE II OF THE PROJECT, THE DEVELOPMENT OF THESE FIBERS WILL BE COMPLETED AND THEIR PRODUCTION SCALED UP TO A LEVEL THAT WILL ALLOW THE PRODUCTION OF SUFFICIENT TUBE-SIDE-FEED MODULES FOR INITIAL FIELD TESTS. PHASE II ISTO CULMINATE IN A FIELD TEST OF SUFFICIENT SCALE TO ATTRACT PRIVATE SECTOR SUPPORT FOR FOLLOW-ON PHASE III DEVELOPMENT AND COMMERCIALIZATION.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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