Electro-Chlorination Systems / Methanation

Zeolite Membrane Separation System "HDS"

Major products

What is Hitachi Zosen Corporation Membrane Separation System (HDS)?

What is Hitachi Zosen Corporation Membrane Separation System (HDS)?

Zeolite Membrane System is eco-friendly equipment in the chemical industry

Membrane separation system is the energy-saving separation and refining technology of the most interest in recent years. Hitachi Zosen Corporation provide membrane separation system installed own original zeolite membrane element. It is possible to be separated target component from various mixed gas and contributed for energy-saving in refinery process.


As a result of making full use of own technology, it has been succeeded in thinning zeolite which is one of functional materials. Utilizing the properties of zeolite, impurities can be removed from mixed fluid (liquid and gas) and so the target component is refined.

Only keeping the pressure difference between outside and inside of the membrane, the target molecules can be refined selectively and continuously. The component wanted to permeate can be controlled by chemical composition and type of zeolite, and operating conditions.

The separation of components proceeds by “Molecular Sieving Effects” and “Preferential Adsorption Effects”. “Molecular Sieving Effects” is the molecules lager than zeolite pore cannot be permeate the membrane and “Preferential Adsorption Effects” is that easily adsorbed on zeolite surface preferentially permeate through the membrane.

SEM image of membrane cross section
Mechanism of Zeolite Membrane Separation

Basic Design

Hitachi Zosen Corporation propose various refining system by zeolite membrane depending various mixed fluid (liquid and gas).

  • Removal of water from mixed liquid contained water and alcohol
  • Recovery of mixed methane from gas contained CO2 and methane
  • Collection of the isomers of hydrocarbons separately
Separation System

Solvent recovery adapts mainly 1.Pervaporation (PV) or 2.Vapor Permeation(VP). Hitachi Zosen Corporation propose the best system according to Physical properties of FEED..

1.Pervaporation (PV)
Point Remove water from FEED as liquid
  • Easy operation because of few system equipment
  • Effective in case that not wanted to heat FEED
2.Vapor Permeation (VP)
Point Remove water after vaporized FEED
  • Possible to operate even FEED contains many impurities

Advantage of installing HDS

  • Membrane separation process is achieved significant energy-saving and space-saving compared to conventional methods such as distillation and adsorption method. At not only new plant, but also at retrofit of existing plant, it can be expected significant running cost-saving.
  • “Uncomplicated operation according to process simplification, and Compact facility”
  • “Waste liquid-saving, solvent purchase-saving”
Separation Process of Dehydration Plant
Energy Saving Effect

After-sales service after install

HDS is the product operating long-term.
We provide each service to bring out the equipment greatest potential.

  • During commissioning: support to operate
  • Preventive maintenance: regular checking and overhauling
  • Post maintenance: Supply parts and maintenance etc.

Membrane Element

All-ceramics Construction

Hitachi Zosen Corporation has developed zeolite membrane elements constitued by all Inorganic material (all-ceramics constitutes), as a result of pursuing high durability and reliability. Due to disuse organic materials, it is possible to use in severe environment such as high temperature and high pressure.

Structure of Zeolite Membrane Element
Best performance zeolite membrane element in the world

Zeolite membrane elements in HDS have the highest processing amount in the world.
The membrane size is the largest in the world and therefore one membrane have sufficient processing area. The permeation resistance of membrane element is reduced to the minimum by the zeolite layer thinner to the limit.
Through the number of filling membrane elements and their support jig is low, easy to handling and maintenance can make dramatic cost savings.

Appearance of Zeolite Membrane Element

[Standard Specification]
Outer diameter: 16mm Φ
Length: 1,130 mm

Various Product Lineup

The product lineup boasts the widest variety in the industry. New materials have endless possibilities to create new process. Hitachi Zosen Corporation continue to turn the client’s requests into commercial reality.

  Hydrophilicity and Hydrophobicity Main Application
HZM-1 Hydrophilic Hydrophobic Remove of H2O  (Alcohol and Ketone etc)
HZM-2 Remove of H2O, Purification of H2 and Refining of Hydrocarbon
HZM-3 Remove of H2O (Alcohol and Carboxylic acid)
HZM-4 Remove of H2O, CO2 recovery and Purification of Methane
HZM-6 Refining of Hydrocarbon

Membrane Module Vessel

Membrane Module Vessel for Hitachi Zosen Corporation

Hitachi Zosen Corporation has adopted own membrane module vessel that makes best use of zeolite membranes elements' function. It is as result on pursuing how much increase processing amount in the same space and how much increase processing amount compared with the same numbers of membrane.

The Image of Zeolite Membrane Module Vessel
The picture of Zeolite Membrane Module Vessel
Advantages of Membrane Module Vessel

The one end of the membrane fixed structure can prevent some accidents such as cracking or leaking of the zeolite membrane element by difference in thermal stress between SUS and ceramics.
Applying the paired structure of a membrane and an outer tube (the double tube structure) improves Reynolds number and thus maximize the separation potential of the zeolite membrane.
Taking advantage of fluid analysis, design of inside the housing such as installing partition plates, arrangement of membrane and how to supply the fluid were optimized.

Flow of Fluid inside Membrane Module Vessel
Schematic of Fluid Analysis

System Design

World-Class Processing Amount

Zeolite Membrane System “HDS” is possible to provide the world-class production capacity. The system design continues to pay attention to details.
HDS unit is designed at the best way to make the entire system more compact and easier to operate, including the placement of instruments.

A Model of Bioethanol Purification System

Reference Use

Membrane Separation system “HDS” that keeps evolving day by day

It is possible to propose the bestmembrane separation system for various mixed fluid, such as recover and recycle for organic solvent (solvent dehydration), purification methane from biogas(Remove of CO2) and isomer separation of paraffinand xylene (refining of hydrocarbon).

Application for HDS
Solvent Recycling
By removing the water from organic solvent, organic solvent was recycled of improved the purity.
Alcohol Ethanol Methanol IPA etc
Ketone Acetone MEK MIBK etc
Carboxylic acid Acetic acid Formic acid etc
Ester Ethyl acetate, Propyl acetate etc
Aromatic hydrocarbon Toluene, Xylene, Benzene etc
Aliphatic hydrocarbon Point Remove water after vaporized FEED
Others Aprotic solvents(N-methylpyrrolidinone N,N-dimethylformamide etc
Create a New Process
Zeolite membrane sepration is applicalbe to petrochemicals could not be used before.
Application example Target Substances
Refining of Petrochemical Products Paraffin isomers
Xylene isomers
Aromatic/Aliphatic hydrocarbons
Selective Gas Sepration
High selective membranes enable removing CO2 and producing high purity of product gas purity.
Application example Target Substances
Purification of Methane(Biogas, Natural Gas etc) CO2 / CH4, N2 / CH4
Purification of Hydrogen CO2 / H2
Carbon Dioxide Recovery CO2 / N2

Main Achievements

  • Worldwide plants are equipped with HDS.
  • FY2011 : the 37th excellent environmental equipment award (Award of Director -General, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI))
  • FY2009-2013 : Participated in the Project funded by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization(NEDO)”Green and sustainable chemistry/fundamental development of ordered-nonporous membranes for highly-refined separation technology. Development of Fundamental Technologies for Green and Sustainable Chemical”.
Plants with HDS

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