SBIR Phase I: Plasticization-Resistant Hybrid Membranes for Olefin-Paraffin Separations

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0740681
Agency Tracking Number: 0740681
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: AM
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
DUNS: 112716311
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Tim Merkel
 (650) 543-3362
Business Contact
 Tim Merkel
Title: PhD
Phone: (650) 543-3362
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will focus on the separation of olefin/paraffin vapor mixtures using organic-inorganic hybrid membranes. These membranes consist of thin selective layers that contain an interconnected network of nano-sized inorganic particles dispersed in a polymer matrix. The inorganic network increases membrane durability and inhibits swelling of the polymer selective layer. This allows the membranes to retain high olefin/paraffin selectivities at challenging industrial conditions. By the appropriate combination of the inorganic phase with the matrix polymer, it will be possible to develop membranes capable of efficiently separating a wide variety of vapor/vapor mixtures. The broader impacts (commercial potential) of this project will be the development of a new type of vapor/vapor selective membrane. If the technology is successfully developed, membranes could be tailored to perform a variety of important commercial separations. Systems based on such membranes would provide serious competition to distillation, the workhorse separation technology of the petrochemical and refining industries.

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

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