Project Info

Microporous Molecular sieve membranes for olefin/paraffin separations

Moises A. Carreon

Project Goals and Description:

  1. Development of crystalline molecular sieve membranes for olefin/paraffin separation .
2. Evaluate membrane separation performance for different olefin/paraffin mixtures. 3. Elucidation of separation mechanisms of olefins/paraffins over these membranes. ABSTRACT Separating olefins from paraffins is one of the most challenging and energy intensive industrial processes. Olefins are key chemicals in the chemical and petroleum industries due to their wide use as platform raw materials for many important commercial products. For instance, ethylene is the platform raw material for the synthesis of plastics, fibers, synthetic rubber, synthetic resins, styrene, ethylene oxide, acetaldehyde, acetic acid, among others. In the petrochemical industry olefins are always accompanied by a considerable amount of paraffins. Therefore, to produce pure olefin for further utilization, the paraffin needs to be removed. We propose to develop microporous crystalline molecular sieve membranes having the potential to effectively separate olefin/paraffin mixtures (relevant to hydrocarbon separations).The benchmark technology for these separations gases is cryogenic distillation, which is an energy intensive process. The membrane technology proposed here could play a key role in making these separations less energy intensive. In this project it is proposed the development of crystalline molecular sieve membranes that can effective separate olefins from paraffins via size exclusion.

More Information:

Grand Challenge: Engineer the tools of scientific discovery.
M.A. Carreon*, “Microporous Crystalline Molecular Sieve Membranes for Molecular Gas Separations: What Is Next?”, ACS Materials Letters 2022, 4, 868-873. M.A. Carreon* Porous crystals as membranes, Science 2020, 367, 6478, 624-625.

Primary Contacts:

Moises A. Carreon (faculty advisor) Keerthana Krisnan (PhD Student advisor)

Student Preparation


Basic laboratory skills.


4 hours


Student will learn about fundamental on membrane science, on membrane synthesis, and characterization


Through weekly meetings, and research progress reports, and group meetings


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