Stable Membranes for Separating Hydrogen Containing Petrochemical and Refinery Streams
Department of Energy
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Small Business Information
Membrane Technology And Research, Inc. (mtr)
1360 Willow Road, Suite 103, Menlo Park, CA, 94025
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Abstract75026S As the Nation moves toward a hydrogen economy, new sources of hydrogen will be required. Many low-pressure, hydrogen-containing refinery and petrochemical streams would appear to be good candidates for hydrogen separation by membranes. However, membranes have not been used for these applications because hydrocarbons in the gas stream plasticize the membranes, resulting in collapse and failure. This project will develop new perfluoro membrane structures that are completely inert to hydrocarbon liquids. The membranes will not fail after exposure to vapors or condensed liquids, and will be 10 to 20 times more permeable to hydrogen than current membranes. In Phase I, the new membrane materials were made into composite membranes. The membranes were tested in laboratory modules with gas mixtures that were known to cause the failure of current membranes. In addition, a membrane module test system was installed at a refinery. The results of these tests showed that the membranes are technically and economically viable. In Phase II, the membranes will be optimized and scaled up. A pilot system will be built and operated in the laboratory and at a refinery field site to demonstrate the membrane module's reliability in industrial use. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: Membranes have not been widely used to separate hydrogen from refinery and petrochemical streams because of poor membrane reliability. The hydrogen-permeable, hydrocarbon-resistant membranes should allow for the economical separation of hydrogen from these streams.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.