Benefits of Permylene for Olefin Production & Separation

Benefits of PermyleneLight olefins production is a multi-billion dollar commodity industry, and the olefin/paraffin separation process is the most energy-intensive operation in the production of ethylene, propylene and other high volume olefin petrochemicals.

These are just some of the benefits of using a Permylene membrane system for olefin/paraffin separation:

Other Permylene Membrane System Benefits

  • Modular product design enables future capacity expansions
  • Ease of deployment (logistics, construction, timing) vs. distillation
  • Relative ease of operations and maintenance
  • Hybrid applications and integration with existing processes can optimize overall olefin recovery performance

Go to top

Lower Capital Cost (CAPEX) Alternative to Distillation

Lower CAPEXThe inherent difficulty of achieving a stream of a high purity olefin (e.g. propylene) from a mixed stream containing non-olefin components of similar volatility, such as the corresponding paraffin (e.g. propane) drives up the cost of the distillation column and associated equipment. The column is large, with many trays and the high reflux ratio required to achieve high olefin purity drives the need for large reboiling and condensing systems.

With its facilitated transport membrane technology that is not based on relative volatility, Permylene membrane systems efficiently achieves a high degree of separation, and therefore high olefin purity, with smaller, lighter, modular systems that are easily shipped to and deployed on site.

  • Results in faster return on investment (ROI)
  • Overall deployment cost is much lower than distillation in most cases; as much as 85% lower

 

Go to top

Lower Energy Cost

Engery Efficient MembraneIn many cases, achieving a high purity olefins stream with distillation requires high reflux ratios and high heating and cooling duties. This leads to high energy consumption, especially when the energy isn’t available via heat exchange from other process streams.

Permylene's facilitated transport mechanism is not based on relative volatility and therefore does not directly consume energy for heating and cooling. Some energy may be used to provide temperatures and pressures that are within a suitable range for the membrane system but the net energy consumption is normally much lower than for distillation.

Depending on the application, energy savings for Permylene membrane technology can be up to 90% when compared with distillation systems and can add up to millions of dollars per year in operating cost savings.

Go to top

Reduced Environmental Impact from Emissions

Permylene's net lower energy consumption will result in a proportional reduction of GHG, VOC and other CAC emissions due to combustion for power generation, significantly reducing the environmental footprint of the plant.

Low Emissions Membrane

Purge or waste streams from polymerization reactors or other petrochemical operations where inert compounds or contaminants can build up over time often contain significant concentrations of valuable olefins. Permylene can be used to recover olefins from these streams to a useful purity level for recycle processing, often where distillation is not feasible. This reduction in flared material directly reduces the GHG, VOC and other CAC emissions and their associated environmental impact and likewise reduces emissions related fees and penalties, which are often very costly, thereby reducing operating costs.

Go to top

Recovery of Valuable Olefins from Waste Streams

Purge or waste streams from polymerization reactors or other petrochemical operations where inert compounds or contaminants can build up over time often contain significant concentrations of valuable olefins. Permylene can be used to recover olefins from these streams to a useful purity level for recycle processing, often where distillation is not feasible. This diverts olefins that would likely normally be flared off to a high value use. The olefin recovery is often in excess of 90%.

Olefin Waste Recovery

Go to top

Olefin Stream Value Upgrading

Imtex Olefin ValueSome olefin consuming processes such as for producing fuel additives or specialty chemicals have limited productivity or conversion efficiency due to the presence of other materials that are inert to the process and take up space or are detrimental to the conversion reactions.

The value of the feed streams to these types of processes can often be enhanced by separating the olefins from paraffins or other non-olefins, allowing the downstream process to be more efficient and effective. Permylene membrane systems achieve olefin purities in excess of 99.5% in most of these applications as it typically does in other petrochemical applications.

Go to top

New Product Stream Opportunities

New Product ButeneThe Permylene membrane transports olefins via a facilitated transport mechanism that employs a specific chemical interaction between the olefin double bond and the materials of the membrane and not by volatility differences.

This transport of olefins takes place equally well when the relative volatility of the mixture is 1 as it does at any other level. Some olefin-paraffin separations that would yield commercially useful materials are not practical or possible for distillation but are not a problem for a Permylene membrane system. An example is obtaining nearly pure 2-butene from a 2-butene/n-butane mixture for use as a metathesis or OCT (olefins conversion technology) feedstock. This separation cannot be done by distillation but Permylene membrane systems can achieve it easily.

Go to top