Development of Advanced Membranes Technology Platform for Hydrocarbon Separations [electronic resource].
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 2010.
Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy
- Physical Description:
- 27 pages : digital, PDF file
- Additional Creators:
- United States. Department of Energy. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- Virtually all natural gas is dehydrated during its production, transmission and storage, mostly by absorption processes. Membranes offer many potential advantages over absorption, including smaller footprints, lighter-weight packages, packaging flexibility, minimal electrical power duty, amenability to expansion due to system modularity, reduced maintenance costs, reduced emissions of heavy hydrocarbons, no liquid waste streams, and amenability to unmanned operation. The latter is particularly valuable because new natural gas sources are generally located in remote onshore and offshore sites. Most commercially-available membranes for natural gas upgrading involve high capital costs, high methane loss and performance degradation from operational upsets – all of which are barriers to their widespread adoption by the industry. The original focus of the project was to develop and demonstrate robust, high-performance membranes for natural gas dehydration. The first task completed was a user needs-and-wants study to 1) clarify the expectations of system fabricators and end users of the new separations equipment, and 2) establish the required technical and commercial targets for the membrane products. Following this, membrane system modeling and membrane development in the lab proceeded in parallel. Membrane module diameter and length, as well as and the fiber outer and inner fiber diameter, were optimized from a mathematical model that accounts for the relevant fluid dynamics and permeation phenomena. Module design was evaluated in the context of overall system design, capital costs and energy consumption, including the process scheme (particularly sweep generation), feed pretreatment, system layout, and process control. This study provided targets for membrane permeation coefficients and membrane geometry in a commercial offering that would be competitive with absorption systems. A commercially-available polymer with good tensile strength and chemical resistance was selected for membrane development. A novel dope composition and spinning process were developed, which provide a new approach to controlling membrane porosity and wall and skin morphology. A hollow-fiber membrane with an external dense “skin” was produced that has a high water vapor permeation coefficient and selectivity, durability when in operation at 1000 psig and 70°C, and the ability to withstand aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbon vapors for an extended period. The fiber meets the technical requirements for a commercial product offering in gas dehydration. It can be readily manufactured with some changes in process equipment and process conditions, and is an excellent candidate for scale-up to full-size membrane modules.
- Published through SciTech Connect.
Kalthod, Dr Dilip [Principal Investigator].
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., St. Louis, MO (United States)
- Type of Report and Period Covered Note:
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