A need exists for improvements in the cost and efficiency of processes for separating organic/organic mixtures of compounds which arise as intermediate products in the chemical and petrochemical processing industries; savings in the capital and energy costs of distillation based separation processes are particularly necessary.
Membrane based processes are becoming established as technically and economically feasible solution for a wide range of aqueous and aqueous/organic separation problems. Pervaporation (PV) is becoming an attractive membrane based process when used in conjunction with conventional distillation processes for the separation of aqueous/organic mixtures which are either difficult or expensive to achieve using distillation alone eg by breaking azeotropes). However, pervaporation and related vapour permeation (VP) processes are not yet a technical or commercial reality for the separation of organic mixtures,essentially because membrane materials with sufficient levels of selectivity and permeability combined with the necessary levels of chemical,physical and mechanical stability towards organic liquids and vapours at elevated temperatures are not yet available.
This project has the objective of:
1. Developing PV/VP membrane based on propriety high performance polymeric materials.
2. Developing PV/VP based processes for separating benzene and aromatic from mixtures with non-aromatic hydrocarbons and separating cyclohexane from its oxidation products cyclohexanol and cyclohexanone.
3. Developing a computer based model of PV/VP systems and combined PV/VP-distillation separation processes.
4. Establishing economic perspectives for the use of PV/VP and hybridised membrane-distillation processes with respect to conventional distillation based processes.
The results of the project will validated by testing flat sheet membranes in plate and modules using actual process streams for each of the above groups of organic/organic mixtures.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
6401 JH Heerlen
65901 Frankfurt Am Main
60439 Frankfurt Am Main
3700 AC Zeist