PBF Energy will test newly-developed membranes for separating olefins from paraffins at its Delaware City refinery, according to a press release.

Industrial membrane manufacturer Compact Membrane Systems (CMS) said on Monday that the pilot demonstration at PBF’s refinery will be the first on-site test of the material and is planned to take place in the first half of 2016.

CMS has developed customized membranes using a perfluoropolymer material to facilitate this difficult separation process utilized in refineries and petrochemical plants.

While most olefin-paraffin separations are currently performed using capital- and energy-intensive distillation processes, membrane systems have the potential to provide more efficient alternatives. Another advantage of membranes is that they are modular and easily scalable, allowing capacity to be expanded without committing to constructing a new distillation column.

According to CMS, unlike previous attempts to develop membranes for this purpose, its material has been shown to last more than 300 days in laboratory tests and is resistant to poisons such as acetylene, hydrogen and hydrogen sulfide.

The testing is intended to prove the feasibility of using the new membranes to separate C3 compounds in a process stream.

CMS CEO Erica Nemser said in a statement: “CMS is proud to be at the leading edge of bringing innovative and transformational technology to the marketplace — fundamentally changing the way industry provides some of our core building blocks and reducing the energy consumption in one of our biggest sectors. We look forward to proving out the technology in this first refinery pilot plant installation.”