The oil & gas industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by rising energy demand and more stringent environmental regulations, and growing importance of technologies such as carbon capture and integrated refineries. In the last three years alone, there have been over 523,000 patents filed and granted in the oil & gas industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Advanced materials in oil & gas: gas separation membranes. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 196,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the oil & gas industry, there are 60+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Gas separation membranes is a key innovation area in advanced materials
Gas separation membranes are specialized membranes that selectively separate specific gases from a gas mixture by the process of permeation. These membranes have specific pore sizes that allow the selective passage of desired gases and prevent the passage of other unwanted gases.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 250+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established oil & gas companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of gas separation membranes.
Key players in gas separation membranes – a disruptive innovation in the oil & gas industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to gas separation membranes
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Air Liquide is one of the leading patent filers in gas separation membranes. Its membrane offerings have applications in filtering natural gas during production, as well as carbon dioxide removal from industrial processes. Its advanced membrane product portfolio includes MEDAL membranes, PoroGen membranes, and Innovative Membrane Systems. Some other key patent filers in the space Linde, Air Products, and Exxon Mobil.
In terms of application diversity, Cortus leads the pack, while 8 Rivers Capital and Kia Motors stood in the second and third positions, respectively. Cortus offers clean energy technology solutions and has research and development (R&D) work ongoing in biological methanation, sustainable aviation fuel, and other technologies.
By means of geographic reach, Pentair held the top position, followed by Cortus and Grannus. Pentair offers a variety of membrane technologies for filtering applications such as polymeric membranes, hollow fiber membranes, tubular membranes, and capillary membranes, across locations in North America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East regions.
Advancements in materials for gas separation membranes will help large industry players in their carbon capture targets, while also improving natural gas procurement and distribution operations across the world.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the oil & gas industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Oil & Gas.