Several recent studies investigated the use of the novel Zeolitic-Imidazolate Framework (ZIF-8) membranes for olefin-paraffin separation. In this manuscript, a techno-commercial model is developed to examine the use of these membranes for separating propylene from propane. Single-stage and two-stage membrane processes were assessed for their performance compared to distillation. The assessment was conducted considering 70 wt% propylene feed, typically produced from the upstream depropanizer. The single-stage process was found technically capable and commercially competent to produce the chemical grade propylene (93 wt%), but not the polymer grade (99.5 wt%). Alternatively, the two-stage process was capable of producing both propylene grades at promising recovery and cost figures. The published propylene/propane selectivity of 35 appears adequate in meeting the separation demands, subject to the adoption of proper unit design. Future research should grant more attention towards aspects such as ZIF-8 membranes’ manufacturability, cost, and performance in real environments.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Aishwarya Puranik carried out desalination experiments for her MS Thesis at the Otto York Department of Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology(NJIT).Lydia Rodrigues and John Chau gratefully acknowledge support for this research from the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Membrane Science, Engineering and Technology that has been supported via NSF Awards IIP 1034710 and IIP 1822130. We acknowledge W. L. Gore & Associates for providing ePTFE membranes. We acknowledge both MilliporeSigma and Pall Corporation also for providing the PVDF membranes. Lin Li was supported by NJIT during initial planning of the membrane modifications in early 2016 after her research was concluded under a research assistantship from NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Membrane Science, Engineering and Technology that has been supported via NSF Award IIP 1034710.