Low-Cost, Large-Membrane-Area Modules for Gas Separation

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG03-01ER83266
Agency Tracking Number: 65043S01-II
Amount: $0.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1360 Willow Road, Suite 103, Menlo Park, CA, 94025
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 J. Wijmans
 (650) 328-2228
Business Contact
 E. Weiss
Title: 65043
Phone: (650) 328-2228
Research Institution
65043 Although U.S. refineries are short of hydrogen, many untapped sources exist, including off-gas and fuel gas streams that are generated on site. Membranes have been used to separate hydrogen from these gases, but many membrane modules are needed; therefore, the footprint and complexity of the membrane plants are excessive. This project will develop a new type of membrane module that will be 10 times larger than the current industry standard. These large modules will allow large refining gas streams to be treated with compact equipment. In Phase I, detailed designs for the large-membrane-area modules were developed and several prototype large modules were prepared. The largest module produced, with a membrane area three times that of the current industry standard, exhibited appropriate gas permeation flow rates and was defect-free. The absence of a measurable permeate-side pressure drop validated the design approach. Phase II will further improve the design and produce even larger membrane modules. Existing test equipment will be modified to allow for high-pressure testing. A field test of the large-membrane-area modules will be performed in the second year with support from an industrial Phase II collaborator. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: Much larger membrane modules should allow membrane processes to be more widely used in hydrogen separation, as well as in other gas and liquid separations.

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

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