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hollow fiber membrane oil and gas

How Do Hollow Fiber Membrane Modules Work?

With recent advancements in membrane filtration technology, industrial authorities can now purify their gaseous and liquid process fluids and products more efficiently and cost-effectively. Hollow fiber membranes modules can separate unwanted substances from polluted liquids, particularly those which have been contaminated with organic compounds as well as purify gas streams.

What Is a Hollow Fiber Membrane?

A Hollow Fiber Membrane (HFM) is a semi-permeable barrier consisting of thousands of hollow, flexible filaments, each having a cylindrical shape. Membrane systems separate fluids into the individual components when applied over it. The efficiency of HFMs are impacted by the pore size. Typical membrane filtration systems have pore sizes between 0.03 and 10 microns (1 micron = 0.0010 mm).

How Hollow Fiber Membrane Modules Work

HFM modules are membrane systems set up for industrial filtration. The module consists of a polymeric membrane attached to a hollow tube which can be mounted on a skid or portable steel container. Membrane technology works in typically the same way as capillary or tubular devices. The membrane is a semi-permeable barrier that allows molecules to permeate in phases when a driving force is supplied. NiGen offers some of the best membrane filtration technology in the industry, serving clients from all over the globe.

Applications of Hollow Fiber Membrane Modules

Membrane modules are available in a number of configurations with varying pore sizes depending on the intended application. HFMs are widely used as filtration devices in industrial settings for reverse osmosis water treatment, industrial wastewater pretreatment/treatment, desalination, tissue engineering, and more.

In the oil and gas sector, hollow fiber filtration is one of the most prominent techniques for removal of CO2 and methane CH4 from natural gas, extraction of nitrogen from air, purification of natural gas streams, and treatment of produced water (brine) prior to recirculation or safe disposal into a receiving environment.

Nitrogen Generation

hollow fiber membrane module

Semi-permeable air separation membranes can be used for on-demand generation from atmospheric air. The efficiency and rate of separation depend on the pore size of the HFM.

Membrane nitrogen generators from NiGen selectively remove oxygen, water molecules, and impurities from compressed air, allowing for fast and cost-effective industrial preparation of nitrogen gas.

Nitrogen Gas Separation Membrane Technology

The hollow fiber membrane is made of a cylindrical channel which is bound by a porous layer. The outer surface of the HFM is bound by a selective membrane which does the actual separation. Feed fluid is directed into an inlet on one side of the module. The unwanted products are diverted to a collection point, while produced nitrogen exits via the outlet.

NiGen offers high-reliability on-site nitrogen systems and services for upstream and downstream operations.

Produced Water Treatment in Oil & Gas

Membrane technology can be employed to selectively remove organic and inorganic compounds and dissolved salts from produced water at oil and gas fields prior to reuse or disposal. In the U.S., oil and gas operators must treat their produced water to ensure compliance with local environmental regulations from authorities such as the EPA.

Industrial Wastewater Treatment

Membrane filtration can be employed for wastewater treatment at industrial locations. Hollow fiber membrane filtration removes particulate matter, bacteria, and other organic compounds that impact the BOD level, COD level, toxicity, color, and odor of process and wastewater water at industrial facilities.

Furthermore, HFMs for reverse osmosis water treatment can eliminate up 99% of all dissolved inorganic substances and nearly all bacteria from process wastewater. RO is particularly beneficial to industrial operations because the process can be automated easily with zero break-in period. Substances that can be removed with membrane-based RO technology include lead, calcium, manganese, iron, fluorides, and dissolves salts.

Advantages of Membrane Filtration

advantages of membrane filtration

Key benefits of membrane filtration to oil and gas producers and industrial manufacturers include:

  • Cost efficiency: Membrane filtration saves the costs of purchasing expensive equipment. Chemicals like flocculants, coagulants, and disinfectants are not required.
  • Easy Automation: Membrane filtration can easily be automated, unlike conventional filtration techniques which require constant supervision.
  • Power Savings: Membrane filtration systems utilize less power than other conventional methods of separation, offering safe operation with a high degree of reliability.
  • Space Savings: Product filtration with membranes can be achieved in compact environments. This is particularly useful in industrial facilities having space constraints.
  • Flexibility: Membrane filtration systems can be obtained in a wide range of module sizes and configurations. The flexibility allows users to achieve varying rates of product separation while maintaining high-purity of the final products.
  • Environmental Regulations Compliance: Filtration using membrane systems have minimal impact on the environment and can help industries comply with emission regulations.

Choose NiGen for Dependable Membrane Nitrogen Generation

For 20+ years, NiGen has led cutting-edge innovation, design, and fabrication of high-purity on-site industrial nitrogen generators for the oilfield industry.

Our nitrogen generators utilize the most reliable membranes in the industry to provide high-purity nitrogen gas. We offer skid-mounted and containerized nitrogen generator rentals to suit the most demanding operations.

For more information or to request a quote, contact us online today to receive a call from one of our experts.