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Compact Membrane Systems and Braskem start up demonstration plant

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Compact Membrane Systems, Inc. (CMS), a specialist in membrane systems for energy transition applications, and Braskem, the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas, as well as a market leader and pioneer producer of biopolymers on an industrial scale, have announced that the long-awaited pilot demonstration of CMS' OptipermTM technology for light olefin paraffin separation has started up at Braskem's Marcus Hook facility in the US.

Optiperm, CMS' breakthrough membrane technology, is designed to increase olefin production efficiency while decreasing waste streams, lowering carbon emissions, and reducing total energy usage. The modular nature of membranes allows olefin recovery from small and large process streams alike, debottlenecking processes and leveraging existing infrastructure in a more energy-efficient manner. CMS and Braskem recognise that capturing olefins from unused hydrocarbon process streams is essential to decreasing environmental impact while continuing to create the chemical building blocks for plastic resins and chemical products for diverse customer segments, such as healthcare and hygiene, food packaging, construction, manufacturing, automotive, agribusiness, among others.

Successful demonstration paves the way for the roll out of Optiperm in olefins applications as well point source carbon capture for SMRs, steel, cement and other decarbonisation applications.

This project will address the critical milestones of simultaneously producing high purity (> 90%) paraffin and olefin-rich streams with a multi-stage membrane design. The design is a replica of the design with membrane areas balanced between two stages and a full control system to meet stream purity specs. The rig itself was built by Zeton, a designer and builder of lab-scale systems, pilot plants, demonstration plants and modular systems. The pilot has been deployed at Braskem's Marcus Hook facility and will be operated for a period of 500 days.

This is one of the largest demonstrations of the Optiperm platform to date and includes commercial-sized modules. Previously, CMS has demonstrated the stability of small-scale membranes. This will be the first demonstration that includes CMS' proprietary humidification design and a full-scale commercial membrane module produced at an industrial-scale manufacturing facility. Commercial membrane products will be available from CMS as early as 2023.

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