Category Archives: Process Gas Membranes

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.


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



Creative Membrane Solution for Hydrogen Separation

We recently completed a project with a creative membrane solution for hydrogen separation in glycol manufacturing…And we published a white paper about it!
This project was unique because the feed gas operated at a low pressure, which meant that our typical process gas membrane separators were over-engineered for the system. Our team creatively proposed the idea to utilize a new membrane separator which is designed for small process gas and biogas separations.

“Using the PB6050 membrane separator makes sense in this processing facility. The low pressure, large gas flow volumes, and economic considerations all made this product and configuration the clear choice to meet all of the customer’s requirements.”

Don Henry – Senior Engineer, Air Products

The system used 104 PB6050 membrane separators for an economical hydrogen solution. Read the white paper here.

How to Buy Prism Membrane Separators

We offer two options for procuring Prism membrane separators.
1. Buy a complete membrane system, engineered by Air Products
We offer turnkey membrane systems for large scale nitrogen production, shipboard gas generation, and process gas applications. Many of these systems are located in oil refineries, petrochemical plants, and ammonia production plants. Learn more about our membrane systems here.
2. Buy individual membrane separators and build your own systems
This is considered our “OEM” style of business. We partner with membrane system builders who have innovative applications for nitrogen, biogas, oxygen enriched air, and air dehydration. We supply the appropriate membrane, technical support, and preferred pricing and lead times while the OEM builds and sells the systems to end users. Learn more about our OEM partnerships and if you would like to use our membrane technology in your gas systems, please contact us here.


Two Indisputable Ways Our Hydrogen Membranes Will Save You Money…

1. Reusing hydrogen
Our Prism hydrogen membrane separators recover and purify petrochemical gas streams. As dirty hydrogen gas enters our membrane separators, the unwanted impurities are filtered out through selective permeation. This cleans the hydrogen stream and prevents it from being wasted. Recycled hydrogen can be reused over and over to save money and natural resources.
2. Long membrane life
The first process gas membrane system was installed in 1977 and the original membranes in that system lasted nearly 30 years.  Longevity and reliability are what differentiates our hydrogen membranes from others.

View our new video to learn more about Prism hydrogen membranes.



We Received a Significant Order for the Ningdong Energy and Chemical Industry Base in China.

Project Represents Second Largest PRISM Membrane System in China

March 03, 2016 Lehigh Valley, Pa.

Air Products PRISM Membranes division in Saint Louis, Missouri, has received a significant order to provide a large quantity of membrane separators to the Ningdong Energy and Chemical Industry Base in Ningxia, China, for use as part of the Shenhua Ningxia Coal-to-Liquids Project. The membranes will be part of a hydrogen purification and recycling operation that is expected to start-up later this year.

“This coal-to-liquids project demonstrates China’s advanced capabilities in the energy industry, and we are very proud to be part of it,” said Peter Fung, business manager of Permea China Limited, a division of Air Products PRISM Membranes. “The membrane system is designed to process up to 280,000 standard cubic meters per hour of gas flow, which is an important factor in the efficiency of the overall project.”

Impure hydrogen that is produced by processing the coal passes through the membrane system, which removes contaminants and purifies the valuable hydrogen gas for reuse. The PRISM® Membrane Separators contain polymeric hollow fibers that use selective permeation under differential pressure to separate hydrogen from methane, carbon monoxide, and other hydrocarbons.

China’s largest PRISM membrane system was installed in 2007 and started up in 2008 for a coal liquefaction project in Ordos, Inner Mongolia. PRISM Membrane Separators have also been used to produce oxygen enriched breathing air for passengers on China’s high altitude Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

Air Products’ PRISM Membrane Separators are manufactured exclusively at its facility in Saint Louis, Missouri (USA) and sold throughout Asia by Permea China Limited. Since 1977, a team of engineers from Air Products in the U.S., Belgium, China, and Norway has custom engineered, fabricated, and delivered over 500 process gas systems.

About Air Products
Air Products (NYSE:APD) is a world-leading Industrial Gases company celebrating 75 years of operation. 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’s Materials Technologies business, which Air Products intends to spin-off by September 2016, serves the semiconductor, polyurethanes, cleaning and coatings, and adhesives industries.

The company had fiscal 2015 sales of $9.9 billion and was ranked number 284 on the Fortune 500 annual list of public companies. Approximately 20,000 employees in 50 countries strive to make 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


Our Membrane Separators Recycle Hydrogen

Oil refining plants utilize our process gas membrane separators for applications such as hydrogen purification and inert byproduct rejection. We manufacture these membrane separators to tolerate trace amounts of contaminants that may be present in the feed stream such as water, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, hydrocarbons, and aromatics. See the full document for membrane dimensions, and a flow example with feed gas and permeate stream gas compositions.




We’re Shooting a New Hydrogen Membranes Video

Right now, we’re in the middle of producing a short and educational video about the use of our membrane separators in hydrogen recovery applications. They’re often used for hyco ratio adjustment and inert byproduct rejection projects. Check out some of the still frame images from our behind-the-scenes collection below, and watch out for our feature video coming soon!

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