Natural gas sweetening polymeric membrane: Established optimum operating condition at 70% of CO2 concentration feed gas stream


  • M. H. M. Halim PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd
  • F. Kadirkhan PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd
  • W. N. F. W. Mustapa PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd
  • W. K. Soh PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd
  • S. Y. Yeo PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd



Natural gas, CO2 removal, binary gas, mixed gas


PETRONAS embarks on breakthrough technology for natural gas sweetening in high CO2 gas fields. Membrane technology is found to be one with high potential and a promising technology for bulk CO2 removal from natural gas. It can be suited to wide operating conditions to process varied natural gas composition, pressure and temperature. This paper focuses on the extensive development of PETRONAS in-house membrane and its evaluation for gas separation performance for high CO2 feed gas at different operating conditions; eg. feed gas flowrate, temperature, pressure, CO2 concentration in mixed gas system, and permeate pressure. For all the cases in this study, samples were tested at optimum gas flowrate of 1000 standard cm3/min (sccm) to obtain representative membrane performance. Feed gas pressure and CO2 concentration have shown significantly affect membrane permeation properties; whereas feed gas temperature and permeate pressure showed negligible impact. There is a trade-off between permeance and selectivity when CO2 concentration is increased from 40% to 70%; where the CO2 permeance increased by 12% which consequently reduces CO2/CH4 selectivity by 15%. In summary, the membrane developed in this study demonstrates high pressure durability up to 50 bar and temperature up to 55oC with satisfactory gas separation performance in the presence of high CO2 concentration in feed gas (up to 70% CO2). This work is breakthrough in establishing the operational boundary of PETRONAS Membrane for technology development and deployment in monetizing high CO2 gas field.

Author Biographies

M. H. M. Halim, PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd

Gas Sustainability Technology

F. Kadirkhan, PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd

Gas Sustainability Technology

W. N. F. W. Mustapa, PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd

Gas Sustainability Technology

W. K. Soh, PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd

Gas Sustainability Technology

S. Y. Yeo, PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd

Gas Sustainability Technology