A Membrane-Based Process for the Removal of BTEX from Glycol Dehydration Vents

EPA Contract Number: 68D60047
Title: A Membrane-Based Process for the Removal of BTEX from Glycol Dehydration Vents
Investigators: Ray, Rod
Small Business: Bend Research Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: II
Project Period: September 1, 1996 through June 1, 1999
Project Amount: $225,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (1996) Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Air Pollution , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , Air Quality and Air Toxics


A major source of environmental emissions of volatile organic compounds are the vent streams from glycol-based dehydration units, which are used to remove water from natural gas. A unit operating on a 50-MMSCFD natural-gas stream will typically discharge more than 40 tons per year of various organic pollutants - about half of which are "BTEX" compounds(e.g., benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes).

The objective of this program is to develop a simple and efficient membrane process to reduce the emission of BTEX from glycol dehydration units. This process uses a hollow-fiber membrane module in a unique system design that 1) eliminates the problematic wastewater stream produced by conventional condenser systems, and 2) allows recovery of BTEX. During Phase I, they demonstrated feasibility by operating small-scale modules in the laboratory. A technical and economic analysis showed that this process should have substantial cost advantages over other emission-control technologies.

In Phase II, they propose to optimize the performance of the process and scale up this technology to the pilot scale. Pilot-scale modules will be tested in a pilot-scale system. Alternative system designs that promise to reduce costs will be evaluated.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, air emissions, engineering, chemistry., Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Water, Chemical Engineering, air toxics, Wastewater, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, 33/50, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, emission control strategies, wastewater treatment, hazardous liquid waste, air pollutants, Toluene, Xylenes, VOCs, membrane-based, membrane filtration, membrane technology , air pollution, benzene, BTEX, chemical contaminants, glycol dehydration vents, wastewater discharges, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), aqueous waste stream, membrane technology

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final

  • SBIR Phase I:

    A Membrane-Based Process for the Removal of BTEX from Glycol Dehydration Vents