ECN publication
Silica based membranes for water or methanol separation from organics
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Energy Efficiency in Industry 1-3-2006
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--06-023 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
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Presented at: International Workshop Membranes in Solvent Filtration, Leuven, Belgium, 23-24 maart 2006.

Silica based membranes have been developed that are both selective for water and methanol in organic mixtures. It has been shown that these membranes can be made on large scale on commercially available low-cost ceramic substrate tubes. These membranes combine good selectivities with very high fluxes in pervaporation for the separation of methanol from organics like MTBE and toluene but also for water separation from organics. By upscaling and repeated manufacturing the variation in performance as observed in lab-scale manufacturing is reduced strongly. However, some tube-to-tube variation is still present due to small variations in the pore size distribution. These variations are not important anymore for commercial use. Pilot-scale testing up to a size of 1 m2 membrane area has shown that the membrane performance is good and comparable to the lab-scale results. Economic calculations have shown that these inorganic pervaporation membranes can very well replace and/or debottleneck existing processes like distillation and extraction.

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