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Title: SAPO-34 Membranes for N-2/CH4 separation: Preparation, characterization, separation performance and economic evaluation

SAPO-34 membranes were synthesized by several routes towards N-2/CH4 separation. Membrane synthesis parameters including water content in the gel, crystallization time, support pore size, and aluminum source were investigated. High performance N-2-selective membranes were obtained on 100-nm-pore alumina tubes by using Al(i-C3H7O)(3) as aluminum source with a crystallization time of 6 h. These membranes separated N-2 from CH, with N-2 permeance as high as 500 GPU with separation selectivity of 8 at 24 degrees C. for a 50/50 N-2/CH4 mixture. Nitrogen and CH, adsorption isotherms were measured on SAPO-34 crystals. The N-2 and CH, heats of adsorption were 11 and 15 kJ/mol, respectively, which lead to a preferential adsorption of CE-H-4 over N-2 in the N-2/CH4 mixture. Despite this, the SAPO-34 membranes were selective for N-2 over CH4 in the mixture because N-2 diffuses much faster than CH4 and differences in diffusivity played a more critical role than the competitive adsorption. Preliminary economic evaluation indicates that the required N-2/CH4 selectivity would be 15 in order to maintain a CH4 loss below 10%. For small nitrogen-contaminated gas wells, our current SAPO-34 membranes have potential to compete with the benchmark technology cryogenic distillation for N-2 rejection. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rightsmore » reserved,« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Membrane Science; Journal Volume: 487
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
Country of Publication:
United States