Invited SpeakersProfile Details

Prof. Ingo Pinnau
Prof. Ingo Pinnau Director of the Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Center and Professor of Chemical Engineering at KAUST, Saudi Arabia


​Ingo Pinnau is Director of the Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Center and Professor of Chemical Engineering at KAUST. Dr. Pinnau received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1991 and worked for 18 years as Director of Materials and Membrane Development at Membrane Technology and Research, Inc., Menlo Park, CA. He has been a consulting Professor at Stanford University. Dr. Pinnau co-edited four books on membrane science and is the author of 130+ publications and more than 300 presentations. He holds 39 U.S. patents and is Board member and former President of the North American Membrane Society (NAMS). He chaired the NAMS National Meeting in 2004 and the International Conference on Membranes and Membrane Processes (ICOM) in 2008. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Membrane Science and Applied Water Science, Dr. Pinnau holds various professional memberships and has received several national and international awards.

All sessions by Prof. Ingo Pinnau

  • Day 3Wednesday, February 22nd
Session 5: Membranes and Porous Materials: Industrial Perspectives
10:00 am

Membrane-Based Gas Separations: Current Limitations for Commercial Success

Gas separation processes using membrane technology were introduced in the in the 1980s for hydrogen recovery in petrochemical applications and carbon dioxide removal from natural gas. The first installations for these applications were made possible by: (i) development of ultrathin asymmetric membranes from commercially available glassy polymers, i.e. polysulfone and cellulose acetate, (ii) spiral-wound and hollow fiber module designs, and (iii) optimized process engineering. The next large-scale commercial breakthrough was the development of membrane systems for onsite production of 95-99% nitrogen from air in the early 1990s for various end-user applications. Entry into this market was simple as the required membrane properties could be fulfilled with a wide variety of already existing commercial polymers/membranes (poly(4-methyl-1-pentene) -TPX®, polysulfone, polyphenylene oxide, polyimide - Matrimid®). The only new membrane type specifically developed for air separation was based on tetrabromo-polycarbonate made by Dow Chemical more than 25 years ago. Thin-film composite membranes based on rubbery, silicone-derived membranes were commercialized in the mid 1990s for the recovery of highly valuable organic vapors from various process streams. Other potential applications for membrane-based gas separations, including olefin/paraffin, isomers, N2/CH4, CO2 removal from flue gas etc., are still in their very early stages of development. In summary, only about a dozen, mostly commercial polymers in the form of asymmetric membranes are currently used for gas separations. On the other hand, a great number of new polymers with significantly better intrinsic performance than currently commercially used membrane materials have been developed that significantly pushed the permeability/selectivity “upper bounds” to their yet unknown limits. This presentation will shed some light on the question of why new high-performance membrane materials are continuously developed but their implementation in industrial membrane systems is very slow or non-existing

Level 0, between bld. 4 and 5 10:00 - 10:30 Details