Hollow Fiber Membrane for Dehydration of Organic Solvents via Pervaporation


Technology Overview: Ethanol fuel is widely used as an alternative to fossil fuel in Brazil and in the United States and together both countries were responsible for 87.1% of the world’s ethanol fuel production in 2011. However the separation and purification of fuel grade ethanol (anhydrous ethanol) by traditional distillation process is an energy intensive process. The purification and concentration steps from 5-10% to 99% account for 60-80% of the biofuel production cost. To lower purification cost of biofuels pervaporation a membrane-based technology is a promising method because of its easy operation low energy consumption and small footprint. Pervaporation is able to provide high separation efficiency for azeotropic mixtures of bio-alcohol and water to obtain the purity required for the bio-alcohol. This technology relates to a novel dual layer polymeric hollow fiber membrane suitable for use in pervaporation for dehydrating (remove water from) C2+ alcohols and ethylene glycol. The membrane can be fabriated in a single step without the need for a post-treatment process. As it is most difficult to dehydrate ethanol than other alcohols with a longer carbon chain experiments have been conducted with ethanol as a meaningful demonstration. Technology Features: · Swelling of membrane is prevented due to unique membrane structure · Hollow fiber configuration · Can be scaled up using existing commercial equipment Applications: · Biofuel dehydration (ethanol propanol butanol) · Recycling of isopropanol in semiconductor industry · Ethylene glocol dehydration Patent: · Patent Pending Opportunity: · Licensing · Partnership for future development


Suitable for high volume processes Small footprint Low cost compared to other pervaporation membranes with similar performance

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