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Membrane Overview

A membrane is a selective barrier. This allows gases, vapors, and liquids to move through the membrane at different rates. An example of a membrane is a helium filled balloon. Helium passes through a balloon over time, causing the balloon to deflate. Air Products PRISM® membrane separators work on a similar principle involving the permeation of gases or vapors through a polymer membrane fiber. A typical membrane separator contains thousands of fibers installed into a housing shell which is made from aluminum, stainless steel, carbon steel, or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastic. High-pressure gas mixtures are fed into the separator, forcing the gas either down the bores of the hollow fibers or along the outside surface of the hollow fibers, depending on the specific application.

Some gas molecules can’t pass quickly through the fibers so they concentrate as they travel down the length of the separator and exit the separator under pressure. Other gas molecules quickly permeate through the wall of the hollow fibers and exit through a different port.

The PRISM membranes business unit manufactures and globally distributes air and gas separation membranes and systems. For over 35 years, customers have shown their confidence in PRISM products due to their excellent performance and reliability. The first membrane separators were commissioned in 1977 with full-scale commercialization in 1979, making PRISM membranes a pioneer for marketing and distributing membranes for wide scale applications.

Years of developments with numerous patents have generated hundreds of thousands of separators sold, and hundreds of engineered systems built.  Specifically, we have installed over 500 membrane-based process-gas systems around the world. Our one-of-a-kind membrane manufacturing plant is located in St. Louis, Missouri with extended applications and sales support located regionally and through Air Products Permea China Limited

We offer customizable products to optimize performance for your application within a variety of industries such as aerospace, food and beverage, marine, medical, oil and gas, military, packaging, and transportation. Primary applications include nitrogen separation, air dehydration, and hydrogen separation. Our engineering support can collaborate with you to determine if an existing commercial membrane can address your needs or if a custom design can be provided.

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