Molecular sieve membranes made in thin sheet form

W. Liu
Molecule Works Inc.,
United States

Keywords: molecular sieve membrane


A new molecular sieve membrane technology will be introduced in this presentation from fundamental designs to performance characteristics. Molecular sieve materials are well known for their molecular sieving functions, i.e., distinguishing individual molecules based on slight difference in size, shape, and/or weight. Molecular sieve membranes can be used to conduct molecular separation and/or reactions in the thermodynamic, most efficient way. For recent two decades, a good amount of research studies has been published in the literature about preparation and characterization of molecular sieve membranes. However, high cost and low membrane area packing density of conventional molecular sieve membrane products have hindered its widespread application. The molecular sieve membrane product in a thin sheet form is first produced at Molecule Works Inc. The membrane is prepared by growing the molecular sieve membrane directly on a thin porous metal sheet support. Comprehensive stress modeling analysis of this membrane design suggests that if the membrane layer is controlled thin enough, there would not be any cracks and defects occurring on the membrane. Experimental preparation is illustrated by growing a few commonly-used molecular sieve frameworks, including A-type, MFI-type, and Faujasite-type zeolites as well as a hydrophobic metal-organic framework. 50┬Ám-thin 20cmx20cm membrane sheets of consistent quality are produced at high throughput. The molecular separation characteristics is illustrated with water-selective molecular sieve membranes for dehumidification or dehdydration of atmospheric air, syngas, natural gas, and ethanol fuel. The thin membrane shows exceptional permeance and selectivity. The membrane sheets can be packaged as compact membrane modules for dehumidification of large volume of processing fluids.