High-Performance, Plasticization-Resistant Membranes for Natural Gas Separations

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-03ER83710
Agency Tracking Number: 72079S03-I
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
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
 Ingo Pinnau
 (650) 328-2228
Business Contact
 Elizabeth Weiss
Phone: (650) 328-2228
Email: egweiss@mtrinc.com
Research Institution
72079S03-I About 17% of U.S. natural gas requires processing to remove carbon dioxide; however, current amine absorption technology is complex and expensive to apply, particularly to small gas streams. Membrane separation offers many advantages, but improvements are required for better economics and reliability. These improvements include increased selectivity, higher flux, and most importantly, more robust, plasticization resistance. In this project, thin-film composite membranes from a series of glassy polymers will be chemically modified using a novel fluorination process to achieve improved selectivity and resistance to hydrocarbon-induced plasticization. In Phase I, fluorinated membranes will be produced from a series of rigid, glassy polymers. Both membrane stamps and modules will be evaluated at pressures up to 1,000 psig with mixtures containing carbon dioxide, methane, and higher hydrocarbons. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: Current amine technology is expensive, complex and requires round-the-clock supervision; therefore, these membranes should be widely used in the natural gas processing industry.

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

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