Novel Membranes for In-Process Recycling of Hydrocarbon Feedstocks in Oxygen-Oxidation Processes

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: 68D70023
Agency Tracking Number: 37903
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1997
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Membrane Technology
1360 Willow Road, Suite 103, Menlo Park, CA, 94025
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Dr. J.G. Wijmans
 () -
Business Contact
 Ms. E.G. Weiss
Phone: (415) 328-2228
Research Institution
Oxygen-oxidation processes are used to produce a number of important chemicals, including ethylene oxide, propylene oxide, terephthalic acid, and vinyl chloride. Approximately 450 million lbs/yr of the hydrocarbon feedstocks used in these processes are lost as part of an inert gas purge stream from the reactor. Currently, this gas is flared, which results in a loss of valuable chemicals and an increased environmental burden. This project involves the development of selective membranes that retain the hydrocarbon feedstock for recycling to the reactor while permeating the inert gases. The value of the recovered hydrocarbon leads to process payback times of 12 to 24 months. Preliminary work already has produced membranes with selectivities close to the target performance required. In the Phase I project, candidate polymers will be fabricated into thin composite membranes. Laboratory-scale membrane stamps then will be tested with model gas mixtures.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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