Inorganic Membrane Research and Development at ExxonMobil – the Last 25 Years to Today

B.A. McCool
ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company,
United States

Keywords: inorganic membranes, oil, gas


ExxonMobil has been interested in the use of inorganic membranes for both gas and liquid separations for at least the last 25 years. In that time we have investigated numerous applications with and worked with inorganic membranes of all types. That work resulted in over 100 granted US patents and over 30 publications in the peer reviewed literature. This presentation will provide an overview of the work from the past 25 years – including key findings in our continued progression toward understanding molecular transport and materials engineering aspects of inorganic membrane separations. Specific examples will be presented on zeolite membranes for the separations of CO2/CH4 and xylenes as well as hybrid systems for aromatics/non-aromatics pervaporation. The second half of the presentation will focus on our on-going work in the separation of complex hydrocarbon mixtures using inorganic membranes. We will cover our efforts in novel materials development, compositional modeling for separation products in complex mixtures, and process concept development for nano-filtration and hydrocarbon reverse osmosis applications.