Chemical separations that can change the world: Using fluoropolymers membranes to separate light olefins and paraffins

Free Food,
Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Hannah Murnen


Hannah Murnen
Compact Membrane Systems


The separation of light olefins from paraffins is one of the most energy intensive in the world and the state of the art separation method is distillation, a technology that has remained unchanged over decades. Membranes hold the promise for 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. During the past year, CMS has been operating a pilot utilizing this membrane material at the Delaware City Refining Company. The talk will cover the latest results from that pilot operation as well as an update on the scaleup of our membrane module. Finally, the talk will discuss initial 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 selectivities greater than 20.

  • 10:30 Refreshments
  • 10:45–12:00 Talk