Bench Scale Testing of Next Generation Hollow Fiber Membrane Modules


Cold membrane 0.3 MWe test unit
Cold membrane 0.3 MWe test unit
American Air Liquide, Inc.
Website:  American Air Liquide, Inc.
Award Number:  FE0026422
Project Duration:  10/01/2015 – 06/30/2019
Total Award Value:  $4,369,957
DOE Share:  $3,314,494
Performer Share:  $1,055,463
Technology Area:  Post-Combustion Capture
Key Technology:  Membranes
Location:  Newark, Delaware

Project Description

American Air Liquide Inc. (AL), in partnership with Parsons Corporation, will continue the development and advanced testing of a novel polyimide-based membrane material (PI-2) for application in AL’s hybrid process for carbon dioxide (CO2) capture from coal-fired flue gas. The process combines cold membrane operation with an integrated CO2 compression and purification unit to significantly reduce the overall cost of capture. This project builds on preceding bench-scale work (DE-FE0004278) in which commercial AL hollow-fiber membranes (PI-1), operated at temperatures below -20°C, were shown to have 2-4 times higher CO2/(nitrogen) N2 selectivity with comparable CO2 permeance as ambient temperature performance. In a follow-on project (DE-FE0013163) bench-scale testing on actual flue gas gave promising results for the hybrid process using the existing commercial AL membrane bundles (PI-1 material), and initial laboratory testing of the novel membrane material (PI-2) showed the potential for a step-change in performance (greater than 5 times the fiber permeance of PI-1). The main focus of the current project is to advance the novel high CO2 permeance PI-2 membrane material to commercial-scale 6” bundles for testing with actual flue gas in a 0.3 MWe test unit at the National Carbon Capture Center. A comprehensive evaluation of the overall hybrid process and costs will be completed to ensure optimal use of the improved material and to benchmark against other CO2 capture technologies.

Predecessor Projects:

Project Benefits

The project will accelerate the development of a next-generation hollow-fiber membrane material for inclusion in AL’s hybrid cold membrane/cryogenic distillation process for coal-fired flue gas applications. The novel PI-2 membrane material provides significant benefits in permeance over existing commercially available materials and will enable further reductions in the cost of CO2 capture by decreasing the number of membrane modules and associated equipment in the system. Testing of the commercial-scale PI-2 membrane bundles at bench scale with actual flue gas will determine their potential to achieve at least 90 percent CO2 removal from existing pulverized-coal power plant flue gas with more than 95 percent CO2 purity at a cost of electricity 30 percent less than baseline CO2 capture approaches.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Andrew O'Palko:
Technology Manager 
Lynn Brickett:
Principal Investigator 
Alex Augustine:

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