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Membranes for Methane/Nitrogen Seperation

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-03ER83709
Agency Tracking Number: 72107S03-I
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2003
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
1360 Willow Road Suite 103
Menlo Park, CA 94025
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Ingo Pinnau
 (650) 328-2228
Business Contact
 Elizabeth Weiss
Phone: (650) 328-2228
Research Institution

72107S03-I Approximately 17% of U.S. natural gas reserves do not meet pipeline specification because of high nitrogen content. About 40% of these reserves lack suitable gas processing technology for smaller gas fields, especially where the gas contains more than 15% nitrogen. This is because the best membranes developed to date, which have a methane/nitrogen selectivity of 3 to 4, can economically process gas containing only up to 15% nitrogen. This project will develop membranes with a selectivity of 5, a modest increase that will significantly improve process economics and allow more heavily contaminated gas, containing up to 30% nitrogen, to be processed. In Phase I, candidate composite membranes with the potential of providing methane/nitrogen selectivities of 5 will be prepared, and their permeation properties will be determined with model gas mixtures. Based on the data obtained, the technical and economic feasibility of the process will be analyzed. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: The technology should allow about 4 billion scfd (standard cubic feet daily) of natural gas, currently unexploited because of high nitrogen content, to be produced.

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

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