Advanced Nanocomposite Membrane for Natural Gas Purification

Processing natural gas is the largest industrial application of gas separation membranes. Membranes occupy 10% of the ~$5 billion worldwide annual market for new natural gas separation equipment, with amine absorption accounting for most of the rest. While widely used, amine systems suffer from corrosion, complex process design, and equipment often unsuitable for offshore gas processing platforms. Amine systems are also less efficient than membranes at high CO2 concentrations.

Investigators

Benny Freeman

Partner Organizations

University of Texas at Austin

Focus Areas

Date approved

June 01, 2018
Current TRL
3

Efficient Chemicals Production via Chemical Looping

This project will develop chemical looping technology (CLT) into a general process intensification (PI) strategy for modular upgrading of natural gas to commodity chemicals. Nonoxidative upgrading of methane, ethane and propane to alkenes and aromatics is often limited by equilbrium. CLT is an effective PI strategy to circumvent such limitations by either reactive separation or selective oxidation of a subset of products from the reaction mixture to restore the thermodynamic driving force.

Investigators

Bingjun Xu
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

Partner Organizations

University of Delaware Dow

Focus Areas

Date approved

January 01, 2017
Current TRL
3

Intensified Commercial Scale Production of Dispersants

This project will demonstrate conversion of a large-volume chemical commodities process from batch to continuous processing. It is focused to create an order of magnitude reduction in equipment size (and associated capital cost) by transitioning the traditionally batch production of dispersants, specifically succinimide dispersents, into a continuous process. Succinimide dispersenents are a relatively large volume family of products that varying by molecular weight, and structure.

Investigators

Götz Veser
Professor of Chemical Engineering

Partner Organizations

University of Pittsburgh

Date approved

January 01, 2018
Current TRL
4

Modular Conversion of Stranded Ethane to Liquid Fuels

Ethane can represent up to 20 vol.% of shale-gas, exceeding the 10 vol. % allowed in “pipeline-quality” natural gas. Each year, over 210 million barrels (liquid equivalent) of ethane are rejected in the lower 48 states. Upgrading low- to negative-value ethane to easily transportable liquid fuels is a promising solution to this supply glut. The key to this process is development of modular systems that can operate economically at stranded sites. Conventional gas-to-liquids (GTL) technologies face significant challenges such as high capital cost and limited efficiency.

Investigators

Fanxing Li
Associate Professor

Date approved

January 01, 2018
Current TRL
3

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