Refining petroleum with membranes.

04 June, 2022

The utility of membrane technology in a wide range of industries is being driven by the integration of advanced materials into process-ready devices, rising energy prices, and the need for decarbonization. The groundbreaking invention of an asymmetric cellulose acetate membrane in the early 1960s popularized the concept of pressuredriven separation. The desalination and gas purification fields, in particular, embraced this technology and have since developed more energy-efficient systems for various applications. This paradigm shift is now being further accelerated in membrane-based petroleum refining with the development of membrane materials such as those from the spirobifluorene aryl diamine (SBAD) families (1). On page 1105 of this issue, Chisca et al. (2) offer a concept for membrane-based crude oil fractionation that combines simple pore tuning of polymeric membranes with traditional membrane fabrication methods, which may allow for fast sorting of complex hydrocarbons.

This is a fragment of RELATED PERSPECTIVE to an article published in Science Magazine. 

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