News Archive


MTR starting up multiple large gas conditioning and liquids recovery skids for compressors stations in the Northeast. (December 2014)

MTR was awarded  multiple contracts in Q1-2014 for design, construction and delivery of several gas conditioning skids including liquids recovery for large compressor stations in the Northeast. These skids were delivered and the first unit has been successfully started up in December 2014 despite the extremely cold weather conditions prevalent at the time of startup.   The MTR skid which utilizes a patented process design is generating significant natural gas liquids at the facility and thereby reducing BTU values to below 1000 BTU/SCF for use as fuel gas in multiple gas engines installed at the site.  Other similar skids will be started up in early 2015 for other stations for the same company.

MTR Awarded Large Contract for Helium Recovery from Natural Gas in Poland (December 2014)

MTR was awarded  a contract for design, construction and delivery to plant for a membrane based Helium recovery plant for installtion in Poland.  MTR plant will be located downstream of an existing facility supplying natural gas to a pipeline.  The inlet Helium content is only about 1500 ppm and MTR's process utilizing spiral wound elements concentrate the Helium into the permeate stream for routing to a helium recovery cryogenic plant downstream.  The plant will be delivered in Q4-2015. _____________________________________________________________________________

MTR Wins Membrane NRU Project for Installation in Texas (November 2014)

MTR was awarded  a contract for  design, construction and delivery of a  membrane based NRU plant destined for Texas.  MTR plant will be located downstream of a large liquids extraction plant and will reduce the N2 content in the residue gas to meet pipeline specifications.  MTR's patented design utilizing spiral wound elements was deemed to be technology of choice by the end-user.  The plant will be delivered in Q2-2015.

MTR awarded repeat order from large midstream gas producer in Oklahoma (July 2014)

MTR has been awarded a repeat order based on the patented single vessel design by a large midstream operator for installation in Oklahoma.   MTR is pleased to receive the endorsement of the technology with the operator who has installed multiple MTR skids for conditioning fuel gas in their operations.

MTR Awarded Two fuel gas conditioning skid Contracts in the Northeast (June 2014)

MTR is pleased to announce award for fuel gas conditioning skid using it well established spiral wound elements for two compressor stations in the Northeast in the Marcellus region.   These contracts with subsidiary of a large US midstream company will utilize the MTR patented single vessel compact footprint design and are expected to be placed in service before the end of year.

Two MTR natural skids started up in Iraq (March 2014)

Two of MTR’s Fuel Gas skids have been started up at a large oil and gas plant in Southern Iraq.  This order from a large international service provider was awarded in 2013.  The extremely rich gas would have proven problematic for operating the installed Caterpillar gas engines at the location and MTR’s skid were design to provide the conditioning to reduce BTU values to acceptable values.

Liquid CO2 Successfully Produced in Pre-Combustion Capture Syngas Demo at NCCC (January 2014)

MTR recently completed a project with DOE to develop a membrane-based process that effectively and efficiently captures CO2 from shifted syngas generated by a coal-fired IGCC power plant.  The successful development of this low-cost, environmentally benign membrane technology can potentially result in substantially improved economics for IGCC power production with CO2 recovery, making this combination of technologies a practical approach to environmentally friendly generation of electricity.The CO2-selective membranes (Polaris™) used in this project were developed and tested in three phases: laboratory testing of membrane stamps, pilot-scale testing of small membrane modules at a syngas processing plant, and full membrane system demonstration of liquid CO2 production from raw syngas.  The third phase field test was conducted with a pilot-scale membrane skid using a real coal-derived syngas, at a syngas processing plant operated by the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC), Wilsonville, AL. The demonstration system processed 500 lb/hr of syngas (equivalent to the syngas that could be produced at a 0.2 MWe IGCC power plant), and produced a liquid CO2 stream containing 98+% CO2, starting from the coal-derived syngas feed, which contained only ~9% CO2

The Polaris membranes prepared in this work are at the early commercial stage of development.  Several membrane systems using these membranes have been sold for CO2 removal from mixtures with H2 in various refineries, and MTR is exploring other opportunities to prove the technology reliability and demonstrate the process economics to a broader array of customers.  In particular, additional scale-up work would validate design studies which showed that a combination of CO2-selective membranes and H2-selective membranes can further improve the membrane process efficiency for CO2 capture.



B&W Tests Confirm Successful Boiler Operation with Sweep Gas from MTR Selective Recycle Process for Post-Combustion Carbon Capture (November 2013)

In testing at its pilot-scale Small Boiler Simulator (SBS-II) facility, Babcock & Wilcox confirmed that CO2-laden air produced by the MTR selective recycle design provides stable combustion in coal-fired power plant boilers.  Completed in late 2013, the tests provide critical initial data to the power industry, confirming the feasibility of the new MTR process.  B&W demonstrated that boiler thermal efficiency is not significantly affected and believes that boiler modifications may not be required to retrofit membrane carbon capture technology into existing power plants.

Babcock & Wilcox conducted the work in their role as collaborators on a 3-year project for DOE that is field testing the MTR post-combustion membrane-based selective recycle process for carbon capture from power plant flue gas. The project is being headed by MTR; in addition to B&W, other key participants include the Electric Power Research Institute and Southern Company.

Technical background and a more complete description of the entire MTR-DOE project are available from the MTR News Items for 2012 listed below .


New MTR Project Will Explore Membrane-Sorption Process Hybrids for Carbon Capture (September 2013)

In October 2013, MTR will begin work on a new three-year project for DOE to evaluate a bench-scale hybrid post-combustion CO2 capture process, for potential future coal-fired power plant application. MTR is teaming with the chemical engineering group headed by Prof. Gary Rochelle at the University of Texas at Austin to conduct this research. The process hybrid combines the latest developments in membrane and amine absorption/stripping technologies developed at MTR and UT-Austin, respectively. Early project work on the two separate technologies will culminate in a full parametric pilot test program to be conducted on an integrated hybrid unit. The objective of the work is to determine potential technoeconomic synergies of membrane/advanced amine hybrid processes that can be obtained in parallel and series configurations, and select the most appropriate design scheme for continued process development.

New Project in Alberta Will Use Membranes to Capture CO2 from Syngas, Enhance Methanol and Hydrogen Production (July 2013)

In a project sponsored by the Alberta Government, MTR, in collaboration with Enerkem and the City of Edmonton, will field test novel CO2- and H2-selective membranes at the Advanced Energy Research Facility (AERF) in Edmonton, Alberta.  The goal will be to demonstrate successful separation of CO2 from syngas while enhancing methanol and hydrogen production. The project began in late 2013. Initially, membranes will be used to capture CO2 from syngas and to enhance syngas conversion at an existing AERF methanol synthesis line.  Later, the membranes will be integrated with an autothermal reformer to enhance hydrogen production while simultaneously capturing CO2.  Results may also be used to evaluate the potential for economic membrane use in pre-combustion CO2 capture from IGCC-type power plants. 

More information about MTR technology for the project can be found here.



DOE Approves Field Test for Promising Carbon Capture Technology: Membrane System Successfully Captures 90 Percent of CO2 from Flue Gas, Approved for Scale-Up (November 2012)

A promising post combustion membrane technology that can separate and capture 90 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) from a pulverized coal plant has been successfully demonstrated and received Department of Energy (DOE) approval to advance to a larger-scale field test.

In an $18.75 million project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Membrane Technology and Research Inc. (MTR) and its partners tested the Polaris™ membrane system, which uses a CO2-selective polymeric membrane (micro-porous films which act as semi-permanent barriers to separate two different mediums) material and module to capture CO2 from a plant’s flue gas. Post-combustion separation and capture of CO2 is challenging due to the low pressure and diluted concentration of CO2 in the waste stream; trace impurities in the flue gas that affect removal processes; and the amount of energy required for CO2 capture and compression.

Because the Polaris membranes are 10 times more permeable to CO2 than conventional materials (reducing the membrane area required), and use a slipstream of combustion air as a sweep gas, the system has great potential for reduced energy requirements, reasonable capture costs and greater efficiencies for post-combustion capture, all important factors for retrofitting existing coal-based plants.
Demonstrating and further validating this innovative, cost-effective membrane CO2 separation process at the 1 megawatt equivalent (MWe) pilot scale is expected to be a major step toward meeting DOE’s program goals of capturing more than 90 percent of CO2 from flue gas with less than a 35 percent increase in the cost of electricity. Consequently, MTR will now begin fabricating a 1-megawatt (MW) system capable of meeting this goal from a 20-ton-per-day slipstream of coal-fired flue gas.

The 1-MW system will be tested at DOE’s National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) in Wilsonville, Ala., beginning in 2013. The Post-Combustion Carbon Capture Center at the NCCC enables testing and integration of advanced CO2-capture technologies, at scale, using flue gas from Alabama Power’s Gaston power plant Unit 5, an 880-megawatt supercritical pulverized coal unit. Data generated in a 6-month field test of the 1-megawatt system will be used by MTR to develop a preliminary 20-megawatt full-scale commercial design in cooperation with their partners, Vectren and WorleyParsons.

In addition to MTR, other collaborators on the three-year project include the Babcock & Wilcox Company, Electric Power Research Institute, and Southern Company. Objectives of the project, part of DOE’s Clean Coal Research Program portfolio, include reducing the capital cost, footprint, and energy penalty for CO2 capture in conventional coal-fired power plants, compared to existing commercial systems.


MTR Moves to Newark, CA (2012)

As of June 4th, MTR is open for business at our new facility in Newark, CA. The mailing address is 39630 Eureka Drive, Newark, CA 94560. All phone numbers and email addresses remain unchanged. We look forward to welcoming you to our new home.

MTR Carbon Capture Technology Development for $15 Million DOE Project Enters Second Phase (January 2012)

MTR is managing one of ten projects chosen by The US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop advanced technologies for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal combustion flue gas. In 2012, MTR and partners will construct a membrane skid capable of 90% CO2 capture from a 20 TPD slipstream of coal-fired flue gas (equivalent to the CO2 generated by 1 MWe of power generation). The skid will be operated during a 6-month field test at the DOE National Carbon Capture Center and will utilize MTR’s Polaris membranes. Test data from the skid will be used to clarify the process design and economics of membrane-based CO2 capture from power plant flue gas. Other collaborators on the 3-year project include the Electric Power Research Institute, Southern Company and Babcock & Wilcox.

Distillation Revisited: MTR to Develop Integrated Distillation-Membrane Process with Potential to Halve Energy Requirements of Acetic Acid/Water Separatations (January 2012)

The use of membranes as a low-energy alternative to distillation has been proposed for more than 30 years. Critical limitations have included development of membrane and module components able to operate continuously at temperatures well above 100°C in corrosive environments. Recent work at MTR on membranes, modules and process integration of ethanol/water separations for bioethanol production has successfully addressed these prior limitations, and has resulted in renewed interest in using integrated distillation-membrane approaches to economically separate a range of compounds.

Funded by a current award from DOE, MTR is developing two new processes for separation of acetic acid/water separations. If successfully developed, the new technologies will lower energy costs of acetic acid recovery from acetic acid/water streams by 50% or more, making acetic acid recovery far more economic than existing technologies allow. Longer term, successful distillation-membrane technologies could be applied to commercial separations of other similar dilute aqueous streams.

New Project Explores Membrane Process to Convert Landfill Gas Into Useful Fuel; Multiple Test Sites Sought (January 2012)

EPA recently awarded MTR with a contract to develop a simple and low cost membrane process to convert landfill gas and other dilute methane waste gas streams into useful fuel. Such streams, containing 10-40% methane, are often vented without capturing the fuel value (estimated at $US200-300 million per year), and contribute up to 1 Tg of methane to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Methane is the second largest contributor to global warming, after carbon dioxide.

In a Phase I project, MTR developed new membranes and modules that successfully concentrate methane to fuel grade product for dilute methane-carbon dioxide streams. The membranes can remove CO2, H2S, water and potentially siloxanes in the landfill gas. In the current Phase II work, MTR will build a pilot-scale membrane unit and operate it at a landfill gas plant. The process skid unit will be run for three months to prove the technical and economic viability of the process. If possible, MTR would like to run tests at multiple sites, to reflect the range of feed compositions and operating conditions that exist at various landfill locations. Please contact Dr. Haiqing Lin or Dr. Tim Merkel if your company would be interested in serving as a test site for this new membrane-based technology.

Phase III DOE Project Will Demonstrate Technology to Recover Hydrogen and Carbon Dioxide from Syngas Streams (January 2012)

MTR is beginning the second year of a pilot-scale project to demonstrate simultaneous recovery of hydrogen and carbon dioxide from syngas streams. A complete pilot-scale membrane system will be constructed and operated using a real syngas stream, to demonstrate the production of hydrogen ready for delivery to a turbine and high-pressure liquid CO2 ready for sequestration. Successful operation will confirm process reliability and efficiency. The process allows CO2 to be sequestered without radically increasing energy costs.

The long-term driver for development of this technology is separation and sequestration of CO2 in future IGCC power plants. However, because these plants are so large, the immediate target application is separation of CO2/H2 streams produced in petrochemical/refinery hydrogen reformer and gasifier operations. Smaller specialized applications may develop that involve treatment of process or vent streams containing CO2 and hydrogen, where separation of CO2 from the gas allows the hydrogen to be recycled or used for fuel.


MTR Explores Potential Economic Benefits of Mega-Module Contactors (October 2011)

A new DOE project awarded to MTR is exploring the use of membrane contactors with membrane area of up to 500 m2 per module. This membrane area is 10 times larger than the area of current modules used for CO2 capture. Development of this type of mega-module will significantly improve the practicality of building very large membrane systems, such as those that will be demanded for flue gas treatment. The cost and complexity of manifolding the membrane modules and the footprint of the membrane system can be sharply reduced by development of the new mega-modules. Energy savings due to low pressure drops for gases circulated through the modules, as well as improved countercurrent flow, are additional benefits.
Modules designed for large volumetric flows, low pressure drop, and small footprint will also bring benefits to novel hybrid processes, in which a membrane contactor is used as a low-energy, pre-concentration step in combination with other capture technologies such as absorption or cryogenic fractionation. The project is exploring several process combinations to determine the most economically attractive hybrid design for CO2 capture. Selected CO2 separations in refinery and petrochemical applications will also be considered.

Promising Carbon-Ceramic Membranes Developed for Olefin-Paraffin Separations (October 2011)

Membranes, a low-energy, environmentally friendly technology, have obvious appeal for use in olefin/paraffin separations. Recently, MTR successfully developed lab-scale carbon-ceramic composite membranes with outstanding performance for propylene/propane separation. Under industrially relevant conditions, MTR’s membrane outperformed all other types of membranes reported in the literature for this separation. In a new NSF Phase II project, MTR will work with Arizona State University (ASU) to further optimize the new membranes, and more importantly, will focus on scaling up the membrane production, preparing bench-scale membrane modules and testing the modules under industrial operating conditions. Successful membrane development and scale up, in combination with novel process designs, can yield dramatic energy and cost savings for olefin production.



MTR Awarded $14 Million from DOE for Carbon Capture Technology Development  (July 2010)

Ten projects aimed at developing advanced technologies for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal combustion were chosen by The US Department of Energy to receive funding. The projects, valued at up to $67 million over three years, focus on reducing the energy and efficiency penalties associated with applying currently available carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to existing and new power plants. Membrane Technology and Research (MTR) and partners will construct a membrane skid capable of 90% CO2 capture from a 20 tons-of-CO2/day slipstream of coal fired flue gas (equivalent to the CO2 generated by 1 MW of power generation). The skid will be operated during a 6 month field test at Arizona Public Service’s Cholla power plant and will utilize MTR’s Polaris membranes. Test data from the skid will be used to clarify the relative potential of membrane-based CO2 capture from power plant flue gas. Other collaborators on this 3 year DOE project include the Electric Power Research Institute, Southern Company, and Babcock & Wilcox.

MTR Leases Units for Fuel Gas Conditioning (February 2010)
Customers who have an urgent need to upgrade fuel gas quality can now rent units from MTR. Purchased units are in operation worldwide removing heavy hydrocarbons, acid gases and nitrogen from gas engine fuel. The benefit to the user is more power, less downtime and lower emissions. Would-be customers can now try out the technology, without committing to a purchase.

Nitrogen Removal from Middle East Natural Gas (February 2010)
MTR has just shipped a large scale demonstration system to a Middle East natural gas plant to demonstrate MTR’s NitroSep® nitrogen removal process in a severely corrosive environment. Sure, MTR’s gas separation membranes are resistant to most contaminants. What really attracts an operating company to membrane separations in these challenging conditions is simplicity. Cryogenic, absorption or adsorption systems require a lot of components that all need to work, all the time. Membrane systems are far simpler and operate continuously at benign temperatures and typical gas processing pressures.



Distillation Revisited: MTR to Develop Integrated Distillation-Membrane Process with Potential to Halve Energy Requirements of Acetic Acid/Water Separations. (August 2009)

The use of membranes as a low-energy alternative to distillation has been proposed for more than 30 years. Critical limitations have included development of membrane and module components able to operate continuously at temperatures well above 100°C in corrosive environments. Recent work on membranes, modules and process integration at MTR has renewed interest in using integrated distillation-membrane approaches to economically separate a range of compounds. A new award to MTR from DOE will support development of these concepts for application to acetic acid/water separations. If successfully developed, the new technology will lower energy costs of acetic acid recovery from acetic acid/water streams by 50% or more. Longer term, a successful distillation-membrane technology could be applied to commercial separations of other similar dilute aqueous streams.


MTR Membranes Take On Pre-Combustion CO2 Capture from Coal-fired Syngas (August 2009)

Gasification of coal and subsequent conversion to hydrogen and energy with simultaneous CO2 capture provides a promising route to clean energy production. A new project awarded to MTR and Tetramer Technologies by DOE NETL aims at developing a membrane separation process that will provide cost-effective hydrogen separation and CO2 management in gasification operations, including future coal-based Integrated Gasification Combine Cycle (IGCC) power plants. New membranes being jointly developed by MTR and Tetramer Technologies show excellent promise for separation of hydrogen/carbon dioxide gases such as those in post-shift IGCC syngas. Replacing, or at least reducing the load on the current energy intensive technologies used for H2/CO2 separations –Rectisol®/Selexol® and PSA – through use of low-cost, environmentally benign membrane technology could improve the economics of IGCC power production.

This 24-month project will optimize membranes, modules and process designs to demonstrate use of a membrane-based separation system for syngas clean-up, using simulated water gas shift (WGS) syngas mixtures. With a successful outcome, the process will be ready for field testing at an existing syngas facility at the end of the project.  


MTR Patent Portfolio Attracts Attention (July 2009)

An article in the July 7th Wall Street Journal notes that MTR Inc. was ranked as one of the top 50 innovators according to the Energy and Environmental Patent Scorecard™. The Scorecard is a tool used by The Patent Board™, a provider of IP analysis and investment tools and services, to assess the strength of a company’s patent portfolio. The top 50 spots are generally the purview of larger companies such as Halliburton and Exxon Mobil. However MTR has gained recognition for its portfolio of patents covering membrane separation systems, which are being cited increasingly by other leading companies in the energy business, such as ExxonMobil, BP and Chevron. MTR has already received four patents in 2009; a fifth is expected before the end of the year.  


Wins DOE NETL Contract to Field Demo CO2 Capture from Coal-Fired Power Plant Flue Gas (April 2009)

MTR will conduct a six-month field test of its membrane process to capture CO2 from flue gas at Arizona Public Service (APS)’s Cholla coal-fired power plant near Phoenix, Arizona.  The system is scheduled for startup in the first quarter of 2010 and will process 250,000 scfd of flue gas, separating about 1 ton CO2/day.  The field test will help validate the potential for MTR’s membrane process to efficiently capture up to 90% of the CO2 from coal-fired power plant flue gas.  This technology may offer a low-cost, near-term solution to carbon capture at existing power plants.  EPRI, a third partner in this two-year program sponsored by DOE NETL, will prepare a comparative study of the membrane-based process versus other CO2 capture technologies.  MTR is actively seeking other partners for additional field demonstrations of the membrane process. (For information, contact:  


MTR Wins DOE Contract to Pursue Coal Bed Methane Recovery (April 2009)

Injection of flue gas carbon dioxide into unmineable coalbeds is a promising sequestration technology, particularly if the coalbed methane produced by carbon dioxide displacement can be economically recovered for fuel use. Under a current DOE contract, MTR is preparing to field test a membrane process that removes all of the main impurities – carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen and water – from coalbed methane in a single operation.  If the process is successful, the upgraded methane could cover the cost of sequestration.  The process could also be widely used in the treatment of other natural gas streams containing multiple contaminants.  


Refineries Using Membranes to Upgrade Hydrogen and Produce More Clean Fuel (April 2009)

Stricter fuel specifications drive up refinery demand for hydrogen. One way to augment supply is to recover hydrogen from hydrotreating or hydrocracking operations. Membranes are the perfect tool for this task. High pressure contaminated hydrogen is passed over the membrane and a very pure permeate is recovered for recycle to the process.

This system was ordered from MTR in 2008 for installation in a Korean refinery. It is now online – helping to provide more ultra clean fuel and contribute to a cleaner environment.   


Biogas:  Membranes Tackle a New Greenhouse Gas Challenge (March 2009)

MTR is developing a membrane process that upgrades biogas streams from anaerobic digesters to high quality fuel methane.  The process removes water and carbon dioxide from anaerobic digester gas and produces methane suitable for use in place of pipeline natural gas.  The current work is being funded by EPA.  If successfully developed, the proposed membrane approach will significantly reduce the cost of methane capture from biogas, and accelerate the adoption of anaerobic digestion/biogas utilization technology at livestock farms.   Use of biogas methane on or near the recovery site can help meet rural demands for heat and electricity, and offset the costs associated with environmentally responsible waste and greenhouse gas management.   


Fuel Sep ™Fuel Gas Conditioning Units Delivered for Offshore Gas Sweetening (March 2009)

MTR has shipped two more FuelSep ™ fuel gas conditioning units for installation on offshore platforms. Maersk Oil will be operating one unit offshore Qatar. The second unit will provide low sulfur fuel gas to a gas compression station supplied by Exterran for an ExxonMobil facility in Indonesia.

Membrane systems are an ideal way to purify gas offshore because they are simple, compact, easy to operate and quick to start up. Pressurized feed gas is passed over the conditioning membrane and contaminants such as C3+, H2S, CO2 and water permeate through to the low pressure side, leaving the conditioned gas at pressure. Impure raw gas is easily processed to a premium quality gas, enabling gas engines or turbines to operate at maximum power and efficiency and with minimal emissions.   


BioSep™ Novel Membrane Distillation Processes for Bioethanol Production (February 2009)

MTR’s BioSep™ group, together with Dr. Leland M. Vane at the U.S. EPA Cincinnati Laboratory, has developed several novel membrane-distillation hybrid processes for bioethanol production.  The membrane units in these processes use either vapor permeation or pervaporation.  The processes are simple in design, offer significant separation process energy savings (more than 50%) and are cost competitive with conventional distillation-molecular sieve technology.  BioSep™ processes are especially attractive for use in situations where the ethanol concentration in the fermentation step is low, such as cellulose-to-ethanol and algae-to-ethanol.  A demonstration plant is being constructed in collaboration with a cellulose-to-ethanol producer; start up is scheduled for early fall 2009.     


New Membrane Process Targets Cost Reduction for Biobutanol/Biofuel Separations (February 2009)

Biobutanol is not currently produced as a biofuel for economic reasons, including the low concentration of butanol in the fermentation broth and the complexity of the conventional separation process to separate the three components – acetone, butanol and ethanol (ABE) – from the fermentation broth.  In a new project funded by DOE, MTR is addressing separation issues by developing a low-cost, low-energy hybrid membrane-distillation separation process.  Pervaporation/vapor permeation steps use membranes to concentrate and dehydrate the ABE mixture. The proposed process could save up to 87% of the energy that would be consumed to recover biobutanol by conventional separation techniques.



MTR Rolls Out LPG-Sep™ for LPG Recovery from Associated Gas (January 2009)

MTR has been successfully combining membrane separations with distillation/stripping in a variety of systems recently shipped. The unit shown adjacent will recover hydrocarbons from nitrogen in a petrochemical facility in the Middle East. MTR’s VaporSep® process maximizes recovery of volatile organics from gas streams without resorting to complex cryogenic processing. The purity of these recovered streams is enhanced by integrating a distillation/stripping step into the VaporSep® process.

MTR is now offering this technology for LPG recovery from associated gas – LPG-Sep™. The benefits are particularly attractive at small to medium scale operation – no cryogenic processing is required so these units are simple to build, quick to install and easy to operate.


More Nitrogen Removed from Natural Gas (November 2008)

Another MTR supplied unit is up and running,    removing nitrogen from natural gas. Encore Acquisition are using the unit in Wyoming to produce Fuel quality gas from high nitrogen feed gas.

MTR’s units provide a simple and elegant way to lower the nitrogen content in natural gas – complying with pipeline specs, reducing transportation costs and increasing BTU value. MTR’s technology also concentrates up the C2+ components in the gas, so the BTU increase is much greater than that provided by inerts removal alone. Unlike cryogenic processing, membrane systems are simple and easy to operate, driving their adoption for nitrogen removal at small to medium scale.  This MTR unit has been operating continuously since September 2008, is exceeding separation performance guarantees and has generated significant savings for the client.


MTR to Supply Membrane System to Recover Carbon Dioxide from Power Plant Flue Gas (April 2008)


MTR has contracted with a major US utility company for the supply of a membrane based system to extract carbon dioxide from power plant flue gas. The carbon dioxide will be fed to an adjacent algae farm. MTR’s gas separation membranes simplify the removal of CO2 from many gas streams. This technology is fast displacing traditional absorption systems, which are complex and require chemical solvents with all the attendant environmental risks. MTR can also supply membrane based systems for removing CO2 from natural gas as well as from synthesis gases containing hydrogen.




MTR To Supply Hydrogen Membranes for Synfuel Production Projects (Oct. 2007)

MTR has received two orders for hydrogen membrane units that will be used in Synfuel production projects. Both units will be used in large scale demonstration plants. The first unit will be installed in the U.S. where it will be used to adjust Syngas composition in a Coal-to-Liquid process. The syngas derived from coal gasification will be used to produce liquid fuels. The second unit will be installed in Europe and will be used to purify the Substitute Natural Gas produced by gasification of cellulose materials.


Record Number of MTR's Nitrogen Removal Systems on Order (May 2007)
This year is proving a blockbuster for MTR's NitroSep nitrogen removal units. The number of systems ordered has reached double figures with the latest unit due to ship to Kentucky-based natural gas producer, O&G Energy, LLC in July. Customers say they prefer MTR's system because, unlike other processes, it removes nitrogen simply and effectively, yet retains all higher hydrocarbons. These features are coupled with low installation costs so the units pay for themselves in a few months. The skid mounted units are semi-mobile and can be adjusted to suit variations in feed gas nitrogen content.

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Kaaeid Lokhandwala, product manager for natural gas applications is shown with a ready-to-ship batch of MTR's new high capacity 12-inch NitroSep modules.


MTR Receives Export Achievement Award (April 2007)
Under Secretary Frank Lavin headed a delegation from the US Commerce Department touring MTR's facilities in Menlo Park on April 18th. US Commerce Department officials in the Silicon Valley office have been instrumental in helping MTR develop the overseas petrochemical and refinery market for MTR's membrane systems. The award recognizes MTR's outstanding achievement in this field - well over fifty percent of sales are to overseas customers.

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Frank Lavin (left) presents an Export Achievement Award to Marc Jacobs, MTR's Sales Director for Petrochemical Applications. On Marc's right are Joanne Vliet and Gabriela Zelaya of the Silicon Valley U.S. Export Assistance Center


Commissioning of MTR Propylene Unit in Oman Complete (February 2007)
The Propylene Recovery Unit (PRU) delivered to GS Engineering's Polypropylene plant in Sohar, Oman has undergone commissioning and is now operational. The unit is expected to save the plant more than $2MM per year in operating costs through recovery of propylene and nitrogen.

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MTR Wins NETL Contract to Pursue Carbon Sequestration Technology (January 2007)
The Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory has awarded Membrane Technology and Research, Inc. a $985,000 contract to develop a cost-effective, membrane-based process to separate CO2 from the flue gas of coal-fired power plants and deliver condensed, high-pressure, supercritical CO2 to a pipeline for sequestration. (Cost-share breakdown: DOE $788,266; MTR $197,067)


MTR To Supply Fuel Gas Conditioning Membrane Skid for Peregrine Pipelines Compressor Station (October 2006)
Peregrine Pipeline, Dallas, TX has purchased a membrane fuel gas conditioning unit for the compressor station located in Texas. This large station will house 6 large compressors operating with gas engines. The use of the MTR FGCU will reduce the VOC's (Heavy Hydrocarbons) in the fuel gas and thereby reduce emissions and improve gas engine performance. This unit will add to the existing bases of references in this area, all of which are operating at or above performance guarantee conditions.


MTR Successfully Installs the Third Fuel Gas Unit for Southern Union Gas (October 2006)
Southern Union Gas Company has installed their third membrane FGCU from MTR at Caprock, TX. The previous two were in New Mexico (Sid Richardson). The membrane unit has been operating consistently and delivering quality fuel gas and therefore virtually eliminating gas engine and compressor downtime due to rich fuel gas issues. The installation of this repeat unit has clearly demonstrated that the use of a membrane fuel gas conditioning unit provide very significant economic advantages by eliminating unscheduled downtime and increasing cash flow from production operations.


MTR To Supply Iso-butane and Nitrogen Recovery Unit To Qatar Chemical II Company, Ltd (September 2006)
Qatar Chemical II Company, Ltd. has chosen MTR to supply an Iso-butane and Nitrogen Recovery Unit (INRU) for its new polyethylene plant to be built in Mesaieed, Qatar. The INRU is designed to recover more than 7 tons of hydrocarbons and 1 ton of nitrogen from an off gas stream. The unit will be shipped in late 2007 and commissioned in 2008.


Borealis Polymere Gmbh selects MTR to supply Hydrocarbon and Nitrogen Recovery Unit (May 2006)
Borealis Polymere Gmbh has selected MTR to supply a Hydrocarbon and Nitrogen Recovery Unit (HNRU) for its new polypropylene plant that will be built in Burghausen, Germany. The HNRU will recover nearly all of the propylene and the majority of the nitrogen from an off gas stream within the plant. Shipment is scheduled for mid 2007 with commissioning expected by the end of that year.



MTR Receives First Orders for Hydrogen Recovery/Purification Units (July 2005)

MTR received two awards for first-of-a-kind hydrogen purification units (HPUs). These units are based on a new Hydrogen Membrane that permeates hydrogen much faster than nitrogen, methane, or other hydrocarbons, and achieves high recovery of purified hydrogen. Giant Petroleum (New Mexico) ordered an HPU to recover and purify hydrogen for reuse in their hydrotreater during the production of low sulfur diesel. RCF (India) ordered an HPU to recover hydrogen from a purge stream during methanol production. Both units will be commissioned in early 2006.

Two Fuel Gas Conditioning Units – Sid Richardson Energy (June 2005)

MTR received orders for two fuel gas conditioning units from Sid Richardson Energy. The fuel gas conditioning units have been installed at two remote unmanned compression stations near Jal, New Mexico, USA. Each of these units is designed to remove and recover C3+ hydrocarbons from raw fuel gas. Membrane units supply approximately 0.2-0.3 MMSFD of clean fuel gas to Superior and Waukesha gas engines driving compressors. The fuel gas conditioning units were installed in November 2005 and they are performing better than guarantee performance.

New Membrane for Removing Carbon Dioxide from Hydrogen (March 2005)

MTR has successfully developed and tested a reverse-selective membrane for carbon dioxide/hydrogen separation. Conventional hydrogen membranes permeate the smaller molecule - hydrogen. MTR's new membrane retains the hydrgoen at pressure and permeates unwanted carbon dioxide to the low pressure side. This breakthrough has potential in treating numerous process streams, including those from hydrocarbon reformers.



Maoming Petrochemical Selects MTR for INRU (December 2004)

Maoming Petrochemical Corporation, a division of Sinopec, has selected MTR to supply an Iso-butane Nitrogen Recovery Unit (INRU) for their new PE plant in Maoming, China. The INRU will recover more than 7 tonnes per hour of iso-butane and 1 tonne per hour of nitrogen. Shipment is scheduled for late 2005 with commissioning expected in mid-2006.

Jilin Petrochemical Orders New Hexane-Nitrogen Recovery Unit (November 2004)

MTR has been awarded a new contract from Jilin Petrochemical Corporation, a unit of PetroChina, for a hexane-nitrogen recovery unit. The system will recover more than 1 tonne per hour of hexane and nitrogen from an off-gas stream from their new polyethylene plant. The recovery unit will be shipped in mid 2005 with commissioning expected by the end of this year.

New PRUs for Oman and South Africa (September 2004)

MTR received orders for Propylene Recovery Units (PRUs) from Oman Polypropylene (Sohar, Oman) and from Sasol (Secunda, South Africa). Each PRU will save more than $2MM per year in propylene and nitrogen. Both PRUs will ship in the 4th quarter of 2005, with commissioning planned for the 3rd quarter of 2006.

MTR Receives First Order in India (July 2004)

India Petrochemical Chemical Limited, a unit of Reliance Industries, Ltd. has awarded MTR a new contract to supply an Ethylene Recovery Unit (ERU) for their polyethylene plant in Nagothane, India. The ERU will recover more than 250 kg/hr of ethylene and other hydrocarbons. Shipment is scheduled for early 2005 with commissioning expected during the second quarter of 2005.

Fuel Gas Conditioning Unit Commissioned in Canada (June 2004)

A fuel gas conditioning unit (FGCU) for Dominion Resources (British Columbia, Canada) was recently commissioned. The unit, which reduces the sulfur content of the feed gas to less than 150 ppmv, supplies approximately 1 million SCFD of gas for a gas engine.

New Propylene Recovery Unit Shipped to China (June 2004)

MTR shipped a propylene recovery unit (PRU) for Shanghai Ethylene Cracking Company (SECCO), a joint venture of Sinopec and BP. The unit, which was designed to process 1.5 ton/hour of feed gas, recovers more than 95% of the propylene. The PRU also purifies and recovers nitrogen. Savings are estimated to be approximately $2.0 million per year.

MTR Receives Orders from Dairen Chemical (May 2004)

Dairen Chemical Corporation of Mai Liao, Taiwan awarded MTR a new contract to supply two ethylene recovery units (ERUs) for the company's vinyl acetate plant. Estimated savings are $0.3 million to $0.5 million per year per ERU. Shipment is scheduled for late 2004 with commissioning expected during the first quarter of 2005.



New Propylene Recovery Unit Commissioned in Taiwan

MTR commissioned a propylene recovery unit (PRU) for Yung Chia Chemical Corporation (YCC) in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The unit was designed to process close to 3,000 kg/hr of feed gas and to recover more than 95% of the propylene in the feed gas. In addition to propylene, the PRU will also purify and recover nitrogen. Savings are estimated to be close to $3.0 million per year.

Fuel Gas Conditioning Unit Planned for Canada

Dominion Resources (British Columbia, Canada) awarded MTR a new contract to supply a fuel gas conditioning unit (FGCU). The unit will separate hydrogen sulfide and heavy hydrocarbons from natural gas used as fuel for gas engines. The FGCU is expected to ship during the second quarter of 2004 and will supply close to 1 MMscfd of conditioned gas.

Ethylene Recovery Unit Slated for Nanhai

MTR will construct an ethylene recovery unit (ERU) for Basell's new polyethylene plant in Nanhai, China. Tecnimont of the Montedison Group, based in Milan, Italy, is handling engineering, procurement, and construction for this project. The ERU will be delivered in the second quarter of 2004.

MTR Receives Order from Daelim Chemical

Daelim Industrial Company Limited of Seoul, South Korea awarded MTR a new contract to supply an isobutane nitrogen recovery unit (INRU). The INRU is slated for the polyethylene plant in Yosu, South Korea. The unit will recover isobutane, ethylene, and nitrogen. Estimated savings are from $1.2 to $1.8 million per year. Commissioning is scheduled for late 2004.

Nitrogen Rejection Unit Slated for West Texas

The ABB Lummus Global/MTR alliance has negotiated a contract for a nitrogen rejection unit (NRU) with a gas gathering company located in Dallas, TX. The NRU, a membrane unit that removes nitrogen from natural gas, will reduce the nitrogen content of wellhead gas from 24% to less than 4%. The resulting gas meets pipeline BTU value specifications. This system is slated for installation and startup in January 2004.

MTR Awarded Contract for Propylene Recovery Unit in China

Shanghai Ethylene Cracking Company (SECCO), a joint venture of BP Chemicals, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), and Shanghai Petrochemical Corporation (SPC), has awarded MTR a contract for a propylene recovery unit (PRU) for the new chemical complex currently under construction in Shanghai. BP is spending more than $2.7 billion on the new complex, which includes an ethylene cracker, polyethylene and polypropylene plants. The PRU will be shipped at the end of the second quarter of 2004. Commissioning is expected to begin in early 2005.

MTR Receives Sixth Order from ExxonMobil Chemical Company

ExxonMobil Chemical Company has awarded MTR a new contract to supply a hydrocarbon-nitrogen recovery unit. The unit is slated for the polyethylene plant in Notre Dame de Gravenchon, France. This is the sixth award from ExxonMobil Chemical Company. The unit will recover hydrocarbons such as ethylene, butene, and pentane. Estimated savings are $1.2 to $1.8 million per year.

Three New Orders Received from Taiwan

During the past 12 months, MTR received three new orders from chemical producers in Taiwan. Yung Chia Chemical Corporation (YCC), based in Kaohsiung, purchased a propylene recovery unit (PRU). The unit is currently being installed and is scheduled for commissioning in late 2003. Formosa Fiber and Chemical Company (FCFC), based in Mailaio, purchased its second PRU from MTR during the first quarter of this year. The first unit was supplied in 1998. The PRU for FCFC will ship during the first quarter of 2004, with start-up expected by the end of the third quarter. Finally, Formosa Plastics Corporation (FPC) purchased an ethylene recovery unit for its polyethylene plant in Mailiao. This system will ship in the second quarter of 2004.

INRU and PRU Commissioned in Eastern Europe

In January of this year, MTR commissioned two new recovery units in Eastern Europe. The first unit, an isobutane-nitrogen recovery unit (INRU), was supplied to Tiszai Vegyi Kombinát (TVK). TVK, which is based in Tiszaújváros, Hungary, is the largest polyolefin producer in Eastern Europe. The second unit, a propylene recovery unit (PRU), was constructed for Chemopetrol, based in Litvinov, Czech Republic. The PRU, which recovers more than 3,000 tons of propylene and 7,500 tons of nitrogen per year, will save Chemopetrol more than $1.5 million per year.



MTR and ABB Sign Cooperation Agreement

Membrane Technology and Research (MTR) and ABB Lummus Global have signed an agreement to cooperate in the technical and commercial development of membrane systems for certain applications, and to design, manufacture and market such systems worldwide. For the full release please click here.

MTR Receives First Order for Nitrogen/Methane Separation

MTR has received an order from Omaha Public Power District, Omaha, Nebraska for a membrane system to separate nitrogen from natural gas. The membrane system will process pipeline gas containing up to 8 mol% N2 and produce a low nitrogen content fuel stream for a phosphoric acid based fuel cell. The presence of high concentrations of nitrogen in the fuel to such fuel cells results in deterioration in their performance due to the formation of harmful by-products. The system will be delivered in November 2002.

MTR and OPW Sign Agreement for Gasoline Vapor Recovery

MTR and OPW (Cincinnati, Ohio) have signed an agreement to manufacture and market membrane-based systems for gasoline vapor recovery from retail service stations, worldwide. The product, known as VaporSaver, is designed to recover more than 99% of the gasoline vapors emitted during the filling process. OPW expects to launch the product in December, after receiving certification by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). OPW, a leading supplier of products and systems to the gasoline dispensing industry, is a Dover Company.

INRU Slated for Eastern Europe

In the second quarter of 2002, MTR was awarded a new contract to supply an isobutane nitrogen recovery unit (INRU) to Tiszai Vegyi Kombinát LTD (TVK). TVK is based in Tiszaújváros, Hungary and is the largest polyolefin producer in Eastern Europe. The INRU will recover approximately 3 million pounds of isobutane and 10 million pounds of nitrogen per year, which will save TVK close to $1.0 million per year. Start-up is scheduled for January 2003.

Ethylene Recovery Unit (ERU) for VAM Production Delivered

MTR delivered its first system for ethylene recovery for a vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant. The ERU was supplied to Samsung BP in Ulsan, Korea. Payback time for the system is less than six months, with start-up scheduled for late 2002.

Three Orders Received from the Middle East

Kemya, based in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia, ordered its second hydrocarbon recovery system from MTR. The first unit was supplied and commissioned in early 2001. The company is the joint venture between SABIC (Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation) and ExxonMobil and produces both HDPE (high density polyethylene) and LLDPE (linear low density polyethylene). Sharq, also based in Al-Jubail, ordered two units for hydrocarbon recovery from MTR. Sharq also produces HDPE and LLDPE. The company is a joint venture between SABIC and Mitsubishi.

Two Propylene Recovery Units (PRUs) Commissioned

MTR recently commissioned two propylene recovery units (PRUs) for BP. The PRUs are located on two separate polypropylene units at the Deer Park, Texas complex and will save BP more than $500,000 per year. Actual recovery was 95%, which is above the original 90% design.

MTR Awarded Purchase Order for Fuel Gas Conditioning System by UEG Araucaria

MTR received an order for a large fuel gas conditioning plant to be installed for UEG Araucaria, Curitiba, Brazil. This fuel conditioning unit will process up to 90 MMSCFD of natural gas and provide fuel for two 250-MW Siemens Westinghouse turbines. This large system was specifically designed for transport by air in order to meet the demanding schedule of this project. The entire system was built and delivered to the plant site in 90 days. The system is slated for full load operation in the third quarter of 2002.



MTR Gains First Orders in South Korea

MTR received its first two orders in South Korea earlier this year. Samsung General Chemical placed orders for two units to recover ethylene from vent streams in its Daesan, South Korea polyethylene and ethylene oxide plants. Delivery is scheduled for September 2001, with start-up expected in early 2002.

DSM Doubles PRU Throughput Using MTR's New High-Productivity Modules

DSM (Geleen, The Netherlands) will double the capacity of its existing propylene recovery unit (PRU) by using MTR's new high-productivity membrane modules. The original PRU, designed by MTR in 1995, was rated for a feed rate of 1.2 tonnes per hour. At the end of 2000, DSM began work on a new polypropylene (PP) plant. The off-gas from the new PP plant, combined with that of the existing plant, effectively doubled the PRU feed rate. Initially, DSM expected to build a complete new PRU. However, by using new high-productivity membrane modules from MTR, the company was able to double the PRU throughput, without any major changes to the system. The new modules saved more than $1.5 million in capital costs.

PRU Slated for Eastern Europe

In the first quarter of 2001, MTR was awarded a new contract to supply a propylene recovery unit (PRU) to Chemopetrol (Litvinov, Czech Republic). The unit is part of a new polypropylene plant, licensed by BP, and being constructed by Foster Wheeler Italiana (Milan, Italy). The PRU will recover more than 6 million pounds of propylene and 14 million pounds of nitrogen per year, which will save the customer close to $1.5 million per year. Start-up is scheduled for January 2003.

ExxonMobil Orders Fuel Gas Conditioning Unit

MTR received an order for a fuel gas conditioning unit (FGCU) from ExxonMobil. This is the company's second FGCU order and is for a gas engine, located on an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Due to poor fuel gas quality, the gas engines could only produce two-thirds of their rated power output. The FGCU will allow the engines to achieve full power.

MTR Delivers Refinery Pilot Unit

TotalFinaElf, the fourth largest oil company in the world, will test a pilot unit from MTR at one of their refineries in Western Europe. The pilot unit, designed to process up to 2 MMscfd, will be tested on FCC off-gas. The purpose of the test is to separate and recover olefins from lights, such as hydrogen and methane. If successful, TotalFinaElf will be able to recover more than 5 tonnes per hour of olefins, which are now being used as fuel. The test is expected to last for 6 months.

Ethylene Recovery Unit (ERU) Commissioned

MTR recently commissioned an ethylene recovery unit (ERU) for Formosa Plastics Corporation (FPC). The ERU is located in the ethylene oxide plant at the Point Comfort, Texas complex and will save FPC more than $500,000 per year. Actual recovery was measured to be 85%, which is above the original 80% design rate.

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