Air Dryers that Don’t Remove Water

We get a number of questions about the dehydration membrane separators and how they work. One of the confusing aspects of membrane dryers is that they do not process liquid water.

Sounds confusing – right? A dryer removes moisture. So why would a membrane dryer not remove water?

Gas separation membranes work at the molecular level. When a compressed air stream is being “dehydrated” the water vapor is actually being separated from the compressed air stream. This separation is the result of the very fast water molecule being able to diffuse into the membrane material and permeate out much faster than other air molecules like oxygen or nitrogen. This is not the same as a “filter” which blocks particulates and holds onto them. The smallest water droplets have a diameter of 0.01 to 1 micron, which is very tiny.  But, water molecules are incredibly small with a typical diameter of 2.75 Angstroms (0.000275 microns). This makes the tiniest liquid phase water droplet 3600x larger than its vapor phase cousin. The droplets don’t have a chance of diffusing and permeating simply because they are too large.

Standard pretreatment is to ensure that all liquid water and entrained mists are removed. This also includes all traces of compressor oil, which will also cause damage. In properly designed systems, PRISM Membrane dryers will deliver consistently dehydrated compressed air (or gas) streams for years without the need to replace parts or consumable media.

 

 

 

Pushing the bounds of science. Again.

Air Product’s Dr. Adam Kratochvil will be presenting a brief synopsis of his work in developing thermally rearranged (TR) hollow fiber membranes at the North American Membrane Society (NAMS) conference in June 2018. The NAMS conference gives students and scientists, who are actively exploring new membrane technologies, a forum to present their research and to exchange ideas with others in their field of exploration.

DrKratochvil_96dpiThe TR technology was discovered by Hanyang University in Korea and is now licensed by Air Products PRISM® Membranes.  A TR hollow fiber membrane allows for very precise separations of molecules through the unique membrane structure resulting from a tightly controlled manufacturing process.  Adam will present the development process of the new TR polymer, hollow fiber membrane, and techno-economic evaluations for natural gas sweetening applications.  Scaling the process to commercial production presents a monumental challenge and Dr. Kratochvil has some valuable insights into making the process work successfully.


NAMS 2018 is being hosted by The University of Kentucky and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology at the Hilton Lexington in Lexington, KY, USA.

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Removing Carbon Dioxide is Cool!

In applications involving carbon dioxide separation, like biogas upgrading, there is Joule-Thomson cooling from the expansion of carbon dioxide across the membrane.

MolculeDiffusionIllustration_BiogasUpgrading

In thermodynamics, the Joule–Thomson effect describes the temperature change of a real gas or liquid when it is forced through a valve or porous plug. This procedure is called a throttling process or Joule–Thomson process. The effect is named after James Prescott Joule and William Thomson, who discovered it in 1852.

At room temperature, all gases (except hydrogen, helium and neon) cool upon expansion by the Joule–Thomson process. This throttling process is used in machines like air conditioners, heat pumps, and liquefiers to take advantage of the cooling effect.

In the biogas illustration, heat loss to the ambient surroundings will cause the membrane separators to cool, which affects productivity. These effects need to be minimized when designing systems.

Air Products PRISM Membranes has an experienced staff of process and application engineers that will work with your team to identify these types of system variables before your systems are deployed.

Contact Air Products PRISM Membranes for more information about gas separations and technical assistance.

Recycling Helium from Leak Detection Equipment

heliumElementPrism Membrane separators can be used to recover and recycle used helium from leak detection equipment. Helium is often the chosen molecule for detecting leaks in medical devices or industrial fuel lines because it is a small, fast traveling, inert molecule. Due to the world’s limited helium supply, recycling & reusing the valuable gas after leak testing is an economical and attractive effort.

The same reason why helium is chosen for leak detection also makes it a successful gas application for Prism Membrane separators. Fast permeability behavior assists the helium molecules in separating cleanly at high purities in order to be reused again.

We supply membrane separators to helium recycling equipment builders who package systems for end users. Please contact us if you are searching for a membrane supplier for helium recycling.

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New Application- Hypoxic Altitude Training

iStock-868638448.jpgPrism Membrane separators generate nitrogen for a wide variety of applications. One process that is gaining interest is high altitude simulation for athletic training. Carefully controlling a slightly elevated nitrogen content in the training chamber simulates the naturally reduced oxygen environment at high altitudes. Hypoxic training provides the benefit of a competitive athletic edge through improved strength training and weight loss.

The purity of nitrogen required to achieve a safe hypoxic environment is well within the capabilities of Prism Membrane separators. At this time, we are actively evaluating relationships with builders of hypoxic gas systems to determine and supply the best fitting membrane solution.

 

Big Win! Nitrogen Membrane System for Coral FLNG

News Release

Air Products Wins Nitrogen Contract for Coral Floating LNG Project

December 12, 2017 Lehigh Valley, Pa.

Air Products (NYSE: APD) today announced an agreement with TP JGC Coral France for the supply of its Medium and High Purity Nitrogen Package for a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility to be located in the Indian Ocean, offshore Mozambique, Africa. This represents the company’s second supply contract with TP JGC Coral France for this project. Earlier this year, Air Products announced an agreement to supply its proprietary cryogenic coil wound heat exchanger technology and liquefaction process license for the facility.

The FLNG facility being built by TP JGC Coral France, an incorporated joint venture formed by TechnipFMC and JGC Corporation, along with Samsung Heavy Industries, will utilize Air Products’ advanced PRISM® Membrane Separators to produce both medium- and high-purity nitrogen. The combined nitrogen production will exceed 100,000 Nm3/day. The FLNG plant will be moored and operate on the surface above 6,500 feet of water in the Indian Ocean, in a natural gas field known as Area 4 of the Coral Field.

“Air Products is very pleased to again be selected as a key supplier to the Coral FLNG project,” said Charles Page, director of Air Products PRISM Membranes. “Our Nitrogen Package, which has been designed in accordance with the consortium’s exacting requirements, leverages Air Products’ unparalleled experience for supplying similar equipment for demanding offshore applications.”

“This project affirms Air Products’ capabilities and world class position for supplying high performance membrane nitrogen generation systems for the marine and offshore market,” added Hallgeir Angel, technical sales manager, Air Products AS Engineered Nitrogen Systems. “It builds on years of experience gained on similar complex projects and integrates well in Air Products’ market-leading Nitrogen Package portfolio.”

In support of the LNG industry, Air Products provides process technology and key equipment for natural gas liquefaction processes. Upstream, Air Products provides both nitrogen and natural gas dehydration membrane systems for offshore platforms. Downstream, Air Products provides membrane nitrogen generators for LNG carriers, and land-based membrane and cryogenic nitrogen systems for LNG import terminals and base-load LNG plants.

About Air Products
Air Products (NYSE:APD) is a world-leading Industrial Gases company in operation for over 75 years. The Company’s core industrial gases business provides atmospheric and process gases and related equipment to manufacturing markets, including refining and petrochemical, metals, electronics, and food and beverage. Air Products is also the world’s leading supplier of liquefied natural gas process technology and equipment.

The Company had fiscal 2017 sales of $8.2 billion from continuing operations in 50 countries and has a current market capitalization of about $35 billion. Approximately 15,000 passionate, talented and committed employees from a diversity of backgrounds are driven by Air Products’ higher purpose to create innovative solutions that benefit the environment, enhance sustainability and address the challenges facing customers, communities and the world. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.

NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company’s Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2017.

Oil Refinery Applications of PRISM Membrane Systems

Prism Membrane Systems are used in Oil Refineries in the following applications:

  1. Hydrogen recovery from purge gas
  2. Inert rejection from recycle loops
  3. Fine tuning hydrogen cascades
  4. SMR debottlenecking

Benefits & Details of using Prism Membrane Systems in Oil Refineries:

  • 95+ % recovery available
  • Minimal operator attention
  • Easily adaptable to different feed streams
  • Up to 98% purity available
  • Low maintenance
  • Skid mounted systems are quick, easy and inexpensive to install
  • Accommodates 20% variations in feed flow
  • Virtually unlimited turndown
  • System Customization
  • Smooth, surge-free output
  • Tolerates Water, normal levels of hydrocarbons and aromatics, H2S, CO2
    and NH3
  • Fast delivery

 

 

Why our Membranes are the Best

Here are the top three reasons why you should choose PRISM Membrane Separators.
1. Low total costs

• Lowest air consumption membrane separator on the market across the widest portfolio of product offerings.

• Broad operating range enables flexible design and optimization.

• More than 35 years of experience in designing the most cost effective systems.

2. Quality & reliability

• USA-based manufacturing with strict AS9100 and ISO9001 quality systems.

• Trusted in critical applications like aircraft fuel tank inerting, shipboard/offshore systems, and refinery operations.

• Longest demonstrated lifespan.

3. Technical support

• Access to experts at membrane@airproducts.com or +1-314-995-3300.

• Specialized experience in trouble shooting and development support.

• Capabilities to customize or develop new membrane products.

Recognized for Sustainability

As a small department of a very large company, we in the membranes division are proud to be specially recognized in Air Products’ 2017 sustainability report. Our membrane separators for biomethane purification turn food scraps and bio waste into renewable vehicle fuel.  Read the full sustainability report here and learn more about our biogas membrane separators here.

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