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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: $749,994.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 31
Solicitation Number: DOE/SC-0059
Solicitation Year: 2003
Award Year: 2004
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: Yes
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Ingo Pinnau
 () -
Business Contact
 Elizabeth Weiss
Title: Ms.
Phone: (650) 328-2228
Research Institution

72079-Approximately 20% of U.S. natural gas reserves are subquality due to a high carbon dioxide content. Membrane separation is an attractive technology to remove this carbon dioxide; however, membranes with higher flux and selectivity are required to improve the economics and reliability of the technology. This project will develop a new type of fluorinated polymer membrane that has exceptional permeation characteristics and is resistant to plasticization and attack by higher hydrocarbons, aromatics, and other liquids. In Phase I, thin-film composite membranes were made from a series of glassy polymers that were chemically modified using a novel fluorination process. The best membranes had carbon dioxide/methane selectivities of 35 to 40 and carbon dioxide permeances of 70 GPU when tested at 500 to 1,000 psi with hydrocarbon-rich gas. In Phase II, these membranes will be scaled up to industrial scale and evaluated in pilot-scale systems at natural gas processing plants. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: Currently, membrane separation has only a 4-6% share of the total carbon dioxide/natural gas separation market. Improved membranes should lower the cost of membrane processes and substantially increase the membrane market share.

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

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