Compact Membrane Systems and Braskem start a demonstration plant


Compact Membrane Systems, Inc. (CMS), a specialist in membrane systems for energy transition applications, and Braskem, the Americas’ largest producer of polyolefins, market leader and pioneer producer of industrial-scale biopolymers, announce that the pilot demonstration long-awaited CMS OptipermMT technology for separating paraffins from light olefins started at the Marcus Hook plant in Braskem in the United States.

Optiperm, CMS’ breakthrough membrane technology, is designed to increase olefin production efficiency while decreasing waste streams, reducing carbon emissions and reducing total energy consumption. The modular nature of the membranes enables the recovery of olefins from small and large process streams, debottlenecking processes and leveraging existing infrastructure in a more energy-efficient manner. CMS and Braskem recognize that capturing olefins from unused hydrocarbon process streams is critical to reducing environmental impact while continuing to create the chemical building blocks for plastic resins and chemicals for various customer segments, such as such as healthcare and hygiene, food packaging, construction, manufacturing, automotive, food and beverage, among others.

A successful demonstration paves the way for deployment of Optiperm in olefins applications as well as point carbon capture for SMR, steel, cement and other decarbonization applications.

This project will address the critical steps for the simultaneous production of high purity (>90%) paraffin and olefin-rich streams with a multi-stage membrane design. The design is a replica of the design with balanced membrane areas between two stages and a comprehensive control system to meet flow purity specifications. The platform itself was built by Zeton, a designer and builder of lab scale systems, pilot plants, demonstration plants and modular systems. The pilot was deployed to the Marcus Hook facility in Braskem and will operate for a period of 500 days.

This is one of the largest demonstrations of the Optiperm platform to date and includes commercial size modules. Previously, CMS demonstrated the stability of membranes on a small scale. This will be the first demonstration featuring CMS’s proprietary humidification design and a full-scale commercial membrane module produced in an industrial-scale manufacturing facility. Commercial membrane products will be available from CMS in 2023.

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