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Novel Membranes for Natural Gas Dehydration

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: EPD11043
Agency Tracking Number: EPD11043
Amount: $80,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: B
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2010
Award Year: 2011
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2011-03-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2011-08-31
Small Business Information
1360 Wilow Road, Suite 103
Menlo Park, CA 94025-
United States
DUNS: 112716311
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Haiging Lin
 (650) 543-3359
Business Contact
 Elizabeth Weiss
Phone: (650) 543-3378
Research Institution

"Before entering the national pipeline distribution system, all natural gas must be dried, which is currently achieved using glycol dehydrators. However, the glycol dehydrators extract hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the raw natural gas streams, In the U.S. alone the VOC emissions from dehydrators total an estimated 44,000 tons per year, half of which are benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylens (BTES). Controlling the emissions of these organic pollutants to meet clean air regulations imposed the U.S. EPA is becoming one of the largest environmental challenges facing the natural gas industry today.

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project proposes to develop an environmentally benign and economically viable membrane process for natural gas dehydration, with essentially zero emissions of hazardous volatile organic compounds. These membranes will permeate water and reject methane and VOCs, leaving the VOCs as a useful fuel component of the dry natural gas product. The proposed membranes would provide far superior water/methane separation performance compared to conventional anisotropic membranes. If successful, the new membranes will make membrane-based natural gas dehydration technically and economically superior to glycol dehydration, and provide relief from the current VOC emission problems of glycol dehydrators.

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

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