Category Archives: Biogas Upgrading Membranes

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.


News Release- Air Products’ Hydrogen Fueling and Biogas Membrane Technology Collaboration

hydrogenfarmjapanap011398Air Products (NYSE:APD) is part of a consortium that took part today in the inaugural ceremony of the Shikaoi Hydrogen Farm, a hydrogen production supply facility derived from livestock biomass waste located in Hokkaido, Japan. Air Products provided its hydrogen fueling technology for this project as part of the company’s collaboration with NIPPON STEEL & SUMIKIN Pipeline & Engineering Co. Ltd. to develop the retail automotive hydrogen fueling infrastructure in Japan. In addition, Air Products has provided its proprietary membrane technology for the biogas purification process.

“We are honored to not only provide our SmartFuel® hydrogen fueling technology, but also our PRISM® membrane technology, to support this integrated and renewable hydrogen supply chain capability,” said Ed Kiczek, global business director‒Hydrogen Energy Systems, at Air Products. “This innovative project represents the second hydrogen fueling station that we have successfully constructed and delivered with NSPE in the Japanese market, and we look forward to collaborating with them on many more.”

The Shikaoi Hydrogen Farm utilizes agricultural wastes which are anaerobically digested to create a supply of raw biogas. This biogas is upgraded to a purified supply of biomethane using Air Products’ PRISM® PB Membrane separators. The biomethane is then used as a feedstock to manufacture renewable hydrogen on-site, which generates heat, power and vehicle fuel. This is the first facility in Japan to use agricultural wastes as the source to manufacture hydrogen.hydrogenfarmjapan

The Shikaoi Hydrogen Farm is a five-year business project entrusted by the Ministry of the Environment in Japan for low-carbon hydrogen technology. The project demonstrates an integrated hydrogen energy-based supply chain, leveraging local renewable energy sources for hydrogen generation, storage, transportation and use. The hydrogen is returned to local livestock farmers and neighboring facilities as a source of renewable energy and fuel. Hokkaido’s first hydrogen-vehicle fueling station is installed at the Farm, which delivers fuel to hydrogen-powered vehicles and forklifts.

Additional companies contributing to the project are Air Water Inc. and Kajima Corporation.

Air Products’ SmartFuel® hydrogen fueling stations provide hydrogen fueling at 35 Mpa (5,000 psi) and 70 Mpa (10,000 psi) in compliance with JPEC (Japan Petroleum Energy Center) S0003. Use of the company’s fueling technology is increasing and is already used in approximately 1,500,000 hydrogen fills per year. Air Products has been involved in over 200 hydrogen fueling projects in the United States and 20 countries worldwide. More information about the company’s hydrogen fueling station technologies can be viewed at

Air Products has more than 60 years of hydrogen experience and an extensive patent portfolio in hydrogen dispensing technology. Air Products provides liquid and gaseous hydrogen and a variety of enabling devices and protocols for fuel dispensing at varied pressures. Hydrogen for these stations can be delivered to a site via truck or pipeline, produced by natural gas reformation, biomass conversion, or by electrolysis, including electrolysis driven by renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

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 2016 sales of $7.5 billion from continuing operations in 50 countries and has a current market capitalization of approximately $30 billion. Approximately 16,000 employees are making Air Products the world’s safest and best performing industrial gases company, providing sustainable offerings and excellent service to all customers. For more information, visit

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, 2016.

PB4030 for Methane and Carbon Dioxide Separation

pb40301The PB4030 is a relatively newer and smaller sized membrane separator for biogas upgrading. This product separates carbon dioxide from the more valuable methane stream in a source of biogas. The resulting upgraded methane can then be used in CNG applications like vehicle refueling.

All of our biogas upgrading membrane separators are PED certified for safe pressurization of the external aluminum shell. This is a big convenience which eliminates the need to build bulky pressure vessels around the membrane banks.

Explaining our Biogas Membrane PED Certification

An interview with a PRISM Membranes employee.

Which PRISM Membrane products are PED certified?

All six of the PB biogas upgrading membrane separators are certified to the European PED (Pressure Equipment Directive) requirements.

How do the Prism PB membrane separators differ from competing biogas membrane products?

Some of our competitors offer biogas upgrading separators which are not PED certified. One company, who had previously used our competitor’s membrane product, was required to build their own pressure vessels around the units for secondary containment. This was an expensive inconvenience for the company, which was even more evident when the system included 80 membrane separators. Choosing the PED certified Prism PB membrane separators will eliminate the need to build expensive secondary containment pressure vessels.

How does Air Products obtain the certifications?

In the beginning developments of our PB biogas membrane separators, our engineering team researched the PED requirements for pressure vessels/flammable gases and designed the membrane to meet the directive. The lightweight aluminum shell was selected over stainless steel because it provides the pressure safety element while also allowing the membrane unit to be installed into compact locations without lift-assist equipment. The PED certification requires a series of internal tests and documentations as well as design and sub supplier audits.  



Biogas Upgrading Technology Comparison

Membrane separation is one of many ways to separate methane from Co2 in biogas upgrading applications. It’s our favorite option, (obviously) and here’s why.
• Compact size & weight
• Scalable
• Low capital investment
• Long membrane life
• No water source needed
• Low to no maintenance

See the biogas upgrading technology comparison below for more details.



Our Involvement with the Beer Industry

As it turns out, our Prism membrane separators serve a lot of purposes in the beer industry. Some of our customers use our smaller sized membrane separators to generate nitrogen for nitro beer dispensing (which controls the bubbles and produces a silkier foam).

Beverage DispenseIn addition, our membranes upgrade Biogas streams, which more and more breweries are turning to as an eco-friendly method of hops disposal.

Finally, when it comes to general upstream water treatment in breweries and beverage producing facilities, our membrane has shown encouraging performance for dissolved gas control in liquids. We’re currently developing this concept even further based off of previous successful trials. Stay tuned!


Biogas Comes From Manure and Food Scraps, and it’s Valuable

When food scraps, cow manure, and bio waste decompose in an anaerobic digester, a surprisingly valuable, stinky decomp gas is emitted. The gas mixture contains both methane and carbon dioxide which are more valuable as separate streams than mixed together, so our membrane separators do the hard work in dividing the molecular streams. Some biogas upgrading customers make money by piping the separated methane into the local natural gas gridline, while others may use the methane to fuel cars and trucks that run on compressed natural gas. For methane and carbon dioxide flow rates and various biogas upgrading configuration ideas, see this data sheet.