An Introduction to Ceramic Membrane Carriers

There are many types of technologies used in natural gas processing plants. This article will cover ceramic membrane carrier basics, what they’re typically made out of, how they work, and more.

What are Ceramic membrane carriers?

Ceramic membrane carriers are gas separation technology that uses ceramic membranes to remove specific gases from natural gas.

Typically, these systems can be found in natural gas processing plants and refineries where different components such as water vapor or hydrogen sulfide must be separated. At the same time, the rest is piped off for further purification steps. The silicon carbide ceramic filter (SiC) is used in most ceramic membrane carriers. Smaller pores are found on the inner surface of this filter, which allows for “trapping” or removal of certain types of gases like hydrogen sulfide (H₂S) and carbon dioxide (CO₂).

How do Ceramic Membrane Carriers Work?

Ceramic membranes typically work by forcing the desired component through a bed of tiny pores inside each membrane filter or cartridge. As a result, only specific molecules will pass through while others remain trapped behind, making it possible to separate them during downstream processing steps.

What Materials Are Typically Used For Manufacturing These?

Typically, ceramic membrane carriers are manufactured to resist high temperatures and many chemicals. This means that they usually need to use materials such as alumina or zirconia for their membranes, along with other types of metals like steel or titanium for the cartridges and housings.

What are the Advantages of Ceramic Membrane Carriers?

There are many advantages to using ceramic membrane carriers for gas separation. Some of these include:

-Resistance to high temperatures and chemicals

-Low-pressure drops

-Can operate at high fluxes

-High selectivity for specific molecules

-Ability to operate in a wide range of temperatures

-Can be made to meet specific specification requirements

-Long lifetimes for filter cartridges.

How Are Ceramic Membrane Carriers Made?

Typically, ceramic membranes are manufactured by a process called slipcasting. In this process, a ceramic slurry is poured into a rubber mold and then put in an oven to dry, where it will harden. It can then be removed from the mold and fired out at extremely high temperatures (typically between 1700˚F-2000˚F) for anywhere between 30 minutes up to several hours depending on the specific material used.

The next step involves pressing or rolling the dried membrane against something flat like metal mesh before adding additional materials such as metals for cartridge housings or plastics for end caps.


Typically, many ceramic membranes last around five years due to their durability and are often replaced during routine maintenance shutdowns in gas processing plants.

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