Petrochemical Filtration

While membrane filtration has been employed in a wide variety of commercially important applications, one of the barriers that has limited its service in the petrochemical industry has been the inherent chemical resistance and stability of the polymeric membrane itself.  Markel’s PTFE Eclipse Membranes can be used both as a cross flow design filter for both low and high solids applications and also for separations applications, like membrane distillation, or contacting operations.

Aqueous systems, medical applications, certain food and beverage systems, gas filtration and some gas distribution systems can employ chemically sensitive membranes such as polypropylene, polysulfone, etc. but most important organic systems, processes involving strong acids, oxidizing agents, or high temperatures have had to resort to more traditional filtration and separation operations.

Markel porous PTFE hollow fibers in conjunction with Markel’s proprietary potting technology enable the use of membrane technology even with the most harsh or severe chemical processes.  Markel has developed a family of modules to address the needs of the petrochemical filtration and separations markets.  Please visit our library for data sheets and call Markel to request more information regarding your membrane filtration and or separation needs.

test tubes used for petrochemical filtration


Porous PTFE hollow fibers have a very low surface energy (are extremely hydrophobic), even when compared to hollow fibers produced from other fluoropolymers such as PFA or PVDF. The low surface energy is a key element for a large segment of membrane applications including gas/liquid contacting and separation, liquid/liquid contacting, and filtration applications where one stream is aqueous or the process stream to be filtered is non-aqueous. This serves as an advantage when working with organic systems or when working with aqueous systems when one wishes to exclude or isolate water from a second phase.

With PTFE, there is no leaching of contaminants into the product stream, making this membrane ideal for food, pharmaceutical, beverage, electronic chemical, and petrochemical markets. There are no residuals left over from the polymerization or isolation processes. There are no plasticizers, no colorants, stabilizers, catalysts, surfactants, or residual initiators to diffuse out into your critical application.

One of the key advantages of PTFE, it is the ideal product for working with acidic, caustic, or corrosive process streams, organic solvent systems, etc. The chemical resistance of PTFE also opens considerably more options for cleaning the membrane than conventional resins or metals. PTFE hollow fibers may be chemically cleaned, autoclaved, etc. Only sintered metal or ceramic membranes offer equivalent options on cleaning.

The high service temperature of PTFE (the upper limit on working temperature depends on the potting system) will allow this product to out- perform other polymeric filter media and leaves it second only to glass or metal filter systems in range of service temperature.

Resistance to bacterial growth and the ability to clean, sterilize (autoclave, chemical, ultraviolet, thermal, etc) offers advantages to the food and pharmaceutical industries.

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