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Membrane separation of olefins from fcc naphtha and gases for production of reformulated gasoline



The objectives of this project are to develop: (I) a membrane system for more energy efficient and more profitable olefin separation, (ii) a system for naphtha production with predetermined amounts of olefins, without RON (Research Octane Number) losses, (iii) olefins recovery for further exploitation, (iv) software for membrane process simulation and scale-up, and (v) the technoeconomic evaluation of the process.

Technical approach

The methodology to accomplish these goals includes the following steps: (i) selection of the most suitable polymer materials and preparation of gas separation and pervaporation membranes, determination of their permeability and selectivity properties, application of modification techniques in order to improve permeation properties, chemical and thermal resistance, and preparation of gas separation and pervaporation hollow fiber membranes; (ii) design and construction of a pervaporation hollow fiber membrane pilot unit and modification of an existing gas separation unit; (iii) operation of the gas separation and pervaporation membrane pilot units with naphtha samples from an existing FCC pilot plant unit and from refinery FCC real products obtained under normal and extreme operating conditions; (iv) modeling of gas separation and pervaporation processes in single hollow fiber membranes, and of 3-D membrane modules by applying advanced, state of the art, CDF simulation software; (v) technoeconomic evaluation for the installation and operation of the new membrane unit in relation to alternative technologies for reformulated gasoline and olefin separation.

Expected achievements and exploitation

The achievements of this R&D action will result in an innovative membrane technology suitable for the effective and economic separation of olefins from FCC naphtha and gases. The following deliverables will merit exploitation: (i) a polymer membrane system for olefins separation from FCC gasoline and gases; (ii) a membrane process preliminary design for olefin separations from FCC naphtha and gases; (iii) a potential process to produce FCC gasoline with a predetermined amount of olefins and a high olefinic stream; (iv) a software package which will predict the performance of membrane modules. Patent protection will be sought, where appropriate, and results will be disseminated to the scientific and industrial community. Codes will be marketed, and plans will be drawn for process scale-up and exploitation by the industrial partners and for further licensing.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas

54006 Thessaloniki

Participants (3)

Fluent Europe Ltd
United Kingdom
146 West Street
S1 4ES Sheffield
Hellenic Aspropyrgos Refinery SA
Km 16Th,national Road Athens
19300 Aspropyrgos

7500 AE Enschede