Refinery hydrogen requirements are growing due to the increased use of hydrotreating (to remove sulfur) and hydrocracking (to convert heavy hydrocarbons to lighter, higher-value fuels). Residual gas from these processes contains a significant amount of unused hydrogen at pressure, and membranes provide an economical recovery method. MTR’s hydrogen-permeable VaporSep-H2™ membranes can provide 90% to 99% pure hydrogen and greater than 90% recovery.
VaporSep-H2™ offers a simple method for recovering hydrogen from refinery streams. Hydrogen permeates preferentially through the membrane, producing a purified hydrogen "permeate" stream and a hydrocarbon-enriched "residue" stream. The available pressure for the purified hydrogen depends on the feed conditions, but can be as high as 1500 psi. The hydrocarbon-enriched "residue" is recovered at close to the feed pressure, and can be sent to directly to fuel, or first treated for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) recovery if these components have value.