DES PLAINES, Ill., March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- UOP LLC, a Honeywell (NYSE: HON) company, today announced the launch of a new membrane element that more efficiently removes contaminants from natural gas and reduces the amount of valuable methane and natural gas liquids (NGLs) lost during the contaminant removal process. Honeywell's UOP Separex™ Select membrane element is the next-generation technology to remove contaminants such as acid gas and water from natural gas. Methane, or dry natural gas, is in high demand for heating and power generation, while NGLs are valuable feedstock for the production of petrochemicals such as plastics. "UOP is dedicated to introducing more efficient gas processing technologies that help maximize the recovery of valuable methane and natural gas," said Rebecca Liebert, vice president and general manager of Honeywell's UOP Gas Processing and Hydrogen business unit. "With the addition of Separex Select, UOP now offers the broadest portfolio of advanced membrane elements, designed to enable gas producers to tailor solutions for highest value, minimal cost and operational ease." Separex Select membrane elements are designed as a replacement option for the elements currently housed within Honeywell's UOP Separex systems. These elements upgrade natural gas streams by removing carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and water vapor in a single process to meet the quality standards specified by pipeline transmission companies and end-users of the natural gas. Honeywell's UOP developed Separex Select as a more selective element in gas separation. It offers an increase in membrane selectivity compared with existing cellulose acetate (CA) membrane elements, driving significantly higher recovery of methane and NGLs, while simultaneously reducing hydrocarbon emissions. In multi-stage Separex systems, Separex Select can also help producers lower their operating costs due to reduced inter-stage compression requirements. Honeywell's UOP is continuously working to improve and expand its Separex membrane portfolio, along with all of its natural gas processing technologies. Earlier this year, it announced the launch of Separex Flux + membrane elements. These drop-in replacements for Separex membrane systems allow higher processing capacity compared with the industry standard. Honeywell's UOP also offers Separex Flux, a CA membrane with optimized capacity and selectivity, which has been the cornerstone of the Separex membrane system during the last 30 years. Decades of operation in natural gas service have demonstrated that Honeywell's UOP Separex membranes are the most robust for natural gas contaminant removal and can achieve the longest membrane life in the industry. Separex membranes eliminate the need for solvents, making the technology particularly desirable in remote locations where logistics make supply transportation to the site difficult. Because Separex membrane elements are inert solids, these membranes offer a spill-free, ecosystem-friendly solution. Separex membrane systems can be installed on-shore or off-shore, require little to no utilities, and provide for very short start-up times and high turndown capabilities. To date, more than 130 Separex units have been installed worldwide.