All posts by johnerichoffmann

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.


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.


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.

If We Can’t Answer the Phone on Tuesday Mornings, You Now Know Why

We’re extra busy on Tuesday mornings! This is the time that the Site Director, and practically our whole entire membrane business, gathers together for a weekly manufacturing and quality control review. Our “Stand Up” meetings are casual and usually only last 15 minutes… but we are committed to being there every week to share ideas about improving quality and high productivity on our manufacturing floor. We’re proud that Continuous Improvement is part of our membrane manufacturing culture.

By the way, we’ll gladly call you back if you leave a message.

Patent Expiration Inspires Manufacturers

In September of 2012, Keurig’s patent on the original K-Cup expired. Manufactures in the food and beverage industry hustled to produce their own cartridge cups for single cup coffee makers. A few of these manufactures use small nitrogen systems that our preferred partner, The Titus Company, makes. On the inside of these systems are our PRISM nitrogen membrane separators which generate the nitrogen that the application requires. It’s exciting to hear of the diverse ways that our membrane is used…and in this case, the coffee grounds are surrounded in nitrogen before the foil lid is sealed to preserve the grounds better. Then, the coffee can be distributed to Amazon, or Target, or any other grocery store without losing flavor or spoiling.

Titus Nitrogen System
Titus Nitrogen System