The industrial gas separation technologies that are currently used for processing natural gas, such as cryogenic distillation, and pressure swing adsorption, often require a large amount of energy. Conversely, membrane technologies have attracted much interest in the gas separation industry as a cost-effective, robust, and energy saving alternative to conventional technologies. With recent attention towards the production of natural gas, membranes have gained prominence as one of the most efficient technologies to process the gas streams to supply to consumers as a viable energy source. However, at present gas separation membrane technologies are still in the development process and need to address several critical challenges before being adopted on the large scale. Developing efficient and economical gas separation membrane technologies to replace conventional separation processes is a prime focus area for both research institutes and technology developers.

This research service titled "Emerging Membrane Technologies for Gas Separation" focuses on recent innovations and developments with regard to membrane technologies used for various natural gas processing applications. This research service includes a holistic analysis of the various membrane materials, which includes their technical capabilities, market potential, and industry requirements. In addition, the technology limitation factors affecting the adoption of membranes for various natural gas processing applications analyzed, key opportunity areas identified, and insights provided on the road ahead for technology developers in this space. The scope of the research service is limited only to natural gas processing applications, and does not include opportunities for using membrane technologies for air separation and biogas processing. The membrane materials considered are segmented on the basis of type, such as organic polymeric membranes, inorganic membranes, and mixed matrix membranes (MMMs). Inorganic membranes are further segmented into zeolite membranes and carbon molecular sieve (CMS). Metal and ceramic membranes are not considered within the scope of this research.