Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Exquisitely thin membranes can slash energy spent refining crude oil into fuel and plastic: Queen Mary scientists have created a new type of nanomembrane that presents a less energy intensive way to fractionate hydrocarbons from crude oil

Abstract:
Queen Mary scientists have created a new type of nanomembrane that presents a less energy intensive way to fractionate hydrocarbons from crude oil.

Exquisitely thin membranes can slash energy spent refining crude oil into fuel and plastic: Queen Mary scientists have created a new type of nanomembrane that presents a less energy intensive way to fractionate hydrocarbons from crude oil

London, UK | Posted on September 30th, 2022

The global production of crude oil is currently around 80 million barrels per day. Hydrocarbons extracted from crude oil are the main ingredients for manufacturing fossil fuels, plastics, and polymers. The process by which they are extracted is extremely energy intensive.

Most refineries process crude oil using atmospheric and vacuum distillation, in which crude oil is heated to separate compounds according to their boiling points. Typical refineries process 100,000-250,000 barrels/day – there are some processing over 1 million. The maximum temperature for the distillation varies based on the quality of the crude, but the distillation temperatures can exceed 500 °C. This process consumes 1100 terawatt-hours per year – nearly 1% of global energy use.1

Membrane technology that can separate the molecules in crude oil by their different sizes and classes could be a far more energy efficient process, consuming 90% less energy than distillation columns. Exceptionally thin nanomembranes have proved successful for extracting fresh water from sea water by rejecting the salt while allowing the water to permeate through reverse osmosis (RO) process. The researchers sought to separate hydrocarbons from crude oil by a parallel method.

This requires nanomembranes to be hydrophobic, which can provide high affinity and rapid pathways for processing hydrocarbons. However, conventional nanomembranes used for RO are hydrophilic in nature and exhibit limited permeance of hydrocarbon liquids, remaining too low for industrial crude separation.

A team led by Professor Andrew Livingston at Queen Mary University of London used multiblock oligomer amines to create hydrophobic polyamide nanofilms that provide100 times faster permeance than that of hydrophilic nanofilms. By reducing the membrane thickness to approximately 10 nanometers, they achieved permeance one order of magnitude higher than the current state-of-the-art hydrophobic membranes, with a comparable selectivity in fractionation of real crude oil. As a result, the membranes developed by the team could markedly reduce the energy consumption of processing crude oil. The analysis of the fractionation was performed by ExxonMobil in a laboratory in the United States.

Andrew Livingston, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Queen Mary University of London said: 'A vast amount of energy is consumed in industry separating molecules. The aim of our research is to provide low energy alternatives to these processes. Due to the innovations in the chemistry we used to make these membranes, we can achieve molecular architectures that achieve exquisite separations, and provide less resource intensive techniques for the separation of molecules.'

Study co-corresponding author Dr Zhiwei Jiang, Research Associate at Queen Mary University of London, said: 'Thinner is better - the liquid passes through the membranes much more quickly, rapidly speeding up the process, and therefore reducing the plant footprint while processing same quantity of liquids’.

This work was funded by ExxonMobil; the European Research Council; King Abdullah University of Science and Technology; and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Melissa Bradshaw
Queen Mary University of London

Copyright © Queen Mary University of London

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

ARTICLE TITLE

Related News Press

News and information

HKUST researchers develop a novel integration scheme for efficient coupling between III-V and silicon November 18th, 2022

Researchers at Purdue unlock light-matter interactions on sub-nanometer scales, leading to ‘picophotonics’ November 18th, 2022

Rice turns asphaltene into graphene for composites: ‘Flashed’ byproduct of crude oil could bolster materials, polymer inks November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

Possible Futures

HKUST researchers develop a novel integration scheme for efficient coupling between III-V and silicon November 18th, 2022

NIST’s grid of quantum islands could reveal secrets for powerful technologies November 18th, 2022

A new experiment pushes the boundaries of our understanding of topological quantum matter: The behavior of bosonic particles observed in a magnetic insulator fabricated from ruthenium chloride can be explained by a relatively new and little-studied physics phenomenon called the B November 18th, 2022

Trial by wind: Testing the heat resistance of carbon fiber-reinforced ultra-high-temperature ceramic matrix composites: Researchers use an arc-wind tunnel to test the heat resistance of carbon fiber reinforced ultra-high-temperature ceramic matrix composites November 18th, 2022

Discoveries

An on-chip time-lens generates ultrafast pulses: New device opens the doors to applications in communication, quantum computing, astronomy November 18th, 2022

Researchers at Purdue unlock light-matter interactions on sub-nanometer scales, leading to ‘picophotonics’ November 18th, 2022

Rice turns asphaltene into graphene for composites: ‘Flashed’ byproduct of crude oil could bolster materials, polymer inks November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

Announcements

HKUST researchers develop a novel integration scheme for efficient coupling between III-V and silicon November 18th, 2022

NIST’s grid of quantum islands could reveal secrets for powerful technologies November 18th, 2022

A new experiment pushes the boundaries of our understanding of topological quantum matter: The behavior of bosonic particles observed in a magnetic insulator fabricated from ruthenium chloride can be explained by a relatively new and little-studied physics phenomenon called the B November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

An on-chip time-lens generates ultrafast pulses: New device opens the doors to applications in communication, quantum computing, astronomy November 18th, 2022

Researchers at Purdue unlock light-matter interactions on sub-nanometer scales, leading to ‘picophotonics’ November 18th, 2022

Rice turns asphaltene into graphene for composites: ‘Flashed’ byproduct of crude oil could bolster materials, polymer inks November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

Energy

Predicting the device performance of the perovskite solar cells from the experimental parameters through machine learning of existing experimental results November 18th, 2022

Rice turns asphaltene into graphene for composites: ‘Flashed’ byproduct of crude oil could bolster materials, polymer inks November 18th, 2022

New insights into energy loss open doors for one up-and-coming solar tech November 18th, 2022

Advances in thermoelectric power generation possible with various ‘metal chalcogenide’ materials, recent review shows November 4th, 2022

Research partnerships

New insights into energy loss open doors for one up-and-coming solar tech November 18th, 2022

New hybrid structures could pave the way to more stable quantum computers: Study shows that merging a topological insulator with a monolayer superconductor could support theorized topological superconductivity October 28th, 2022

“Kagome” metallic crystal adds new spin to electronics October 28th, 2022

New measurements quantifying qudits provide glimpse of quantum future October 14th, 2022

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project