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Woburn, MA, United States

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 409.58K | Year: 2011

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project proposes to develop a novel membrane for a broad spectrum of hydrocarbon separations. The initial focus of the project is the development of a selective membrane for efficient separation of hydrocarbons from methane in natural gas processing and separation of hydrocarbons from hydrogen in refinery applications. The chemically robust polymeric membrane will be of a composite configuration comprised of a hollow fiber porous support with a superimposed several hundred angstroms thick separation layer. The nano-structured morphology of the separation layer will enable selective fractionation of hydrocarbon molecules.

The broader/commercial impact of this project is the reduction of energy consumption currently used in separation and purification of hydrocarbons found in oil and gas. In addition, if successful, petrochemical industries will reduce emissions of green house gases, including methane and carbon dioxide. The membrane will effect molecular level separation of hydrocarbons and will be capable of operation in harsh environments and at high temperatures. The initial market for this technology is the recovery of natural gas and hydrocarbon liquids from the associated natural gas in remote geographic locations (gas generated during oil production) that is currently flared. Development of the proposed technology will enable recovery of the methane and high value hydrocarbons at the well with extensive economic and environmental benefits. The membrane is expected to find further utility in high value gas and liquid separation applications including hydrogen recovery from refinery fuel gas, olefin/paraffin separation, and generic hydrocarbon fractionation.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2010

Most heat exchangers utilized in process industries are made of metals. These heat exchangers are balky, heavy, subject to corrosion, oxidation and microbiological fouling which leads to reduction in performance and increase in cost. The plastic heat exchangers can alleviate some of these problems. However, the commercial plastic heat exchangers are less efficient and have limited operating temperature range. The availability of light weight, compact, corrosion resistant, efficient heat exchanger is particularly important for process industries and transportation sectors. PoroGen Corporation is proposing to develop and demonstrate an advanced all polymeric composite heat exchanger for industrial applications and the transportation sector. The heat exchanger will be constructed from advanced engineering polymer poly (ether ether ketone), PEEK, The advanced polymeric heat exchanger will exhibit advantages of high temperature operating capability, superior heat transfer efficiency, light weight, durability, and contaminant and corrosion resistance. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Utilization of the compact lightweight heat exchanger in transportation sector, aviation and automobile industries, as cabin air coolers, filter coolers and radiators will provide large fuel savings and reduce operating cost. Additional market opportunities for polymeric heat exchanger include applications in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries, with possible integration into generic process equipment such as condensing boilers and refrigeration plants.

Porogen Corporation | Date: 2013-12-05

In an embodiment there is provided a fluid separation assembly. The assembly has a hollow fiber bundle with a plurality of hollow fiber membranes. The assembly further has a first tubesheet and a second tubesheet encapsulating respective ends of the hollow fiber bundle, wherein one of the tubesheets has a plurality of radial through openings formed in the tubesheet. The assembly further has a housing surrounding the hollow fiber bundle and the first and second tubesheets, the housing having a feed inlet port, a permeate outlet port, and a non-permeate outlet port. The feed gas, permeate gas, or non-permeate gas are introduced into or removed from the hollow fiber membranes via the plurality of radial through openings formed in the tubesheet, such that the radial through openings of the tubesheet intersect each or substantially each of the hollow fiber membranes.

Porogen Corporation | Date: 2010-12-28

Composite porous hydrophobic membranes are prepared by forming a perfluorohydrocarbon layer on the surface of a preformed porous polymeric substrate. The substrate can be formed from poly(aryl ether ketone) and a perfluorohydrocarbon layer can be chemically grafted to the surface of the substrate. The membranes can be utilized for a broad range of fluid separations, such as microfiltration, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration as membrane contactors for membrane distillation and for degassing and dewatering of fluids. The membranes can further contain a dense ultra-thin perfluorohydrocarbon layer superimposed on the porous poly(aryl ether ketone) substrate and can be utilized as membrane contactors or as gas separation. membranes for natural gas treatment and gas dehydration.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2007

U.S. production of natural gas is about 24 trillion scf/year. About 17% of all domestic raw natural gas must be treated to remove carbon dioxide before it can be passed to the pipeline. Membrane technology has gained acceptance due to its favorable economics, compact system sizes, reliability, and low operating costs. However, commercial membranes suffer from low selectvity and are succeptable to degradation. Therefore, robust membranes with improved performance are needed to reduce natural gas processing costs. This project will develop a novel hollow fiber membrane for carbon dioxide removal from natural gas streams. The membrane will be contaminant resistant and will exhibit high selectivity for carbon dioxide removal. Phase I established the technical and economic feasibility of forming novel, composite hollow-fiber membranes for natural gas sweetening. The membranes were shown to be capable of selective CO2 permeation over methane. In Phase II, the membrane performance will be optimized, a pilot scale membrane module will be constructed and tested, and a commercial-scale hollow fiber membrane module will be developed. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The new membrane technology should enable cost effective removal of carbon dioxide from low grade natural gas streams. The technology also should enable efficient CO2 separation in tertiary oil recovery applications.

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