(171g) Energy Efficient Separations of Olefins and Paraffins through a membrane II

Authors: 
Charlton, W. - Presenter, Compact Membrane Systems
Murnen, H. - Presenter, Compact Membrane Systems
Majumdar, S. - Presenter, Compact Membrane Systems
Update on the Separation of Olefin-Paraffin Mixtures with OptipermTM Customized Amorphous Fluoropolymer Membranes

Abstract: The separation of light olefins from paraffins is one of the most energy intensive in the world. The state of the art separation method is distillation, a technology that has remained unchanged over decades. Membranes hold the promise of a more modular, energy efficient and capital efficient method for separation. However, they have historically been hampered by low performance and stability.

Compact Membrane Systems has developed a novel membrane material using a silver embedded fluoropolymer material to transport olefins across the membrane. This material has demonstrated over 2 years of longevity in laboratory operation and has shown high selectivity and permeance under realistic operating conditions. Additionally Optiperm membranes were trialed at the Delaware City Refining Company in over 300 days of field operations validating the robustness and capability of the technology in an operating plant environment.

During the past year, CMS has developed and installed a laboratory recycle test systems to allow for the continuous testing of spiral wound modules with areas of ~20 square feet. The recycle test unit enables CMS to test larger scale membrane modules under field operating conditions using actual process streams from end users. Furthermore the recycle rig design incorporates our innovative design for hydrating the process feed within the membrane housing, significantly reducing the complexity of the membrane systems operations.

We will share the latest leanings from our recycle rig testing as well as provide updates on the scale up of our flat sheet spiral wound membrane cartridges. We will also discuss the current state of our hollow fiber membrane configuration development and the progress on our joint project with Dow Chemical through RAPID, a manufacturing institute funded by the Department of Energy. The goal of the work with Dow is to produce a chemical grade propylene from a process feed stream with a propylene concentration of greater than 60%.

CMS will also discuss results on laboratory testing of C4 streams. This includes mixed gas separation of n-butane and 1-butene with permeances between 200-500 GPU and selectivity greater than 20. We will share results for a number of operating conditions and will highlight several exciting C4 separation applications including those with isomer streams. In addition, longevity results will be shared demonstrating the stability of the membrane in C4 separations.