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Enrichment of light hydrocarbon mixture

United States Patent

August 10, 2010
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Los Alamos National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer Division Website
Light hydrocarbon enrichment is accomplished using a vertically oriented distillation column having a plurality of vertically oriented, nonselective micro/mesoporous hollow fibers. Vapor having, for example, both propylene and propane is sent upward through the distillation column in between the hollow fibers. Vapor exits neat the top of the column and is condensed to form a liquid phase that is directed back downward through the lumen of the hollow fibers. As vapor continues to ascend and liquid continues to countercurrently descend, the liquid at the bottom of the column becomes enriched in a higher boiling point, light hydrocarbon (propane, for example) and the vapor at the top becomes enriched in a lower boiling point light hydrocarbon (propylene, for example). The hollow fiber becomes wetted with liquid during the process.
Yang; Dali (Los Alamos, NM), Devlin; David (Santa Fe, NM), Barbero; Robert S. (Santa Cruz, NM), Carrera; Martin E. (Naperville, IL), Colling; Craig W. (Warrenville, IL)
Los Alamos National Security, LLC (Los Alamos, NM)
12/ 469,552
May 20, 2009
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25396 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.