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High-Performance Polymer Membranes for Natural-Gas Sweetening

Authors

  • H. Lin,

    1. Center for Energy and Environmental Resources, Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, 10100 Burnet Road, Building 133, Austin, TX 78758, USA
    2. Present address: Membrane Technology and Research Inc., 1360 Willow Road, Suite 103, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA.
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  • E. Van Wagner,

    1. Center for Energy and Environmental Resources, Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, 10100 Burnet Road, Building 133, Austin, TX 78758, USA
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  • R. Raharjo,

    1. Center for Energy and Environmental Resources, Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, 10100 Burnet Road, Building 133, Austin, TX 78758, USA
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  • B. D. Freeman,

    1. Center for Energy and Environmental Resources, Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, 10100 Burnet Road, Building 133, Austin, TX 78758, USA
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  • I. Roman

    1. MEDAL L.P., Willow Bank Plant, 305 Water Street, Newport, DE 19804, USA
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  • We gratefully acknowledge partial support of this work by the Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy (Grant No. DE-FG03-02ER15362). This research was also partially supported by the United States Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory under a subcontract from Research Triangle Institute through their Prime Contract No. DE-AC26-99FT40675. Partial support from the National Science Foundation under grant number CTS-0515425 is also acknowledged.

Abstract

original image

Rubbery membrane materials based on high-solubility selectivity for the removal of CO2 from natural gas are made from highly branched, crosslinked poly(ethylene oxide) (XLPEO) which exhibits high CO2/CH4 selectivity (αmath image) even in the presence of high activities of plasticizing agents (e.g., CO2 and higher hydrocarbons). Decreasing temperature improves the separation performance. Many conventional glassy gas separation materials, including polyimides such as 6FDA-mPD, lose selectivity when strongly plasticized (see Figure).

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