What are Zeolite membranes?

 

  • Zeolite membranes are porous ceramic materials with high permeability and stability. Not (yet) commercially available for gas separations. 
     

  • Footprint of equipment only 5% compared to competing polymeric membranes. Fewer membrane modules needed.
     

  • Enable completely new types of separations not possible today with polymeric membranes.
     

  • More than 200 zeolites with different pore size are known.

 

Much energy can be saved by replacing thermally driven separation processes with membrane separation.

 

  • Membrane processes require up to about 100x less energy compared to thermally driven separation processes.
     

  • Lowered CAPEX and OPEX compared to thermally driven separation processes.
     

  • Polymeric membranes are established on the market for industrial gas separations in large scales. The membranes are (usually) dense and have low permeability, which results in that large membrane areas, and many modules are needed in a process.

 
If amine scrubbers are replaced by membranes, as much as abut 3 GJ steam/ton CO2 can be used for other purposes. In only the ammonia plants in the world, this energy corresponds to the whole Swedish consumption of oil.

Comparison polymeric and zeolite membranes for
separation of 300 ton CO2/day

 
 

CO2 permeance (10-8 mol/(m2 s Pa)

Area (m2) needed (Dp CO2 10 bar)

Area/module (m2)

Modules needed

 

Polymeric membranes

 

20

395

20 (spiral wound)

20

 

Zeolite membranes
 

700

11.2

10 (19 channel tubes)

1.1

 

Zeolite membranes have ~1/20th in footprint and only ~1/20th of the very costly steel modules are needed as compared with state of the art polymeric membranes.