Zeolite membranes on ceramic or sintered steel substrates allow for high-temperature pervaporation and other separation processes with a performance which cannot be achieved with other membranes. Application of these membranes will result in lower energy consumption (up to 60%!), less pollution, more efficiency and a purer product. Relevant processes are found on a very large scale in petrochemical industry, but on a small and medium scale also in agro chemical, pharmaceutical and chemical specialities processes. The project aims to develop a zeolite membrane in tubular form which is defect free and can be used in >200°C environments of aggressive solvents such as esters or acetone. Parallel development will be focused on the smaller and medium sized processes in which the zeolite membrane will be used. Based on the results of the project, project partners can develop (applications for) a commercial zeolite membrane module of 0.8m2. Velterop BV has developed and applied patents for the sealing and joining technology to incorporate high-temperature membranes in chemical process modules, and Smart Chemical Company Ltd has applied 3 patents for technology to adhere zeolite membrane directly on a large pore substrate without additional bonding material. Technical work will involve the development of the technology into a industrially feasible process for small and medium quantities of tubular membranes, and the development of commercially feasible processes with these zeolite membranes. At least 4 end-users will be involved to focus the development on the applications. Anticipated additional turnover for each of the proposers is several millions of ECU to be reached within 5 years after completion of the project. Both SMEs intend to licence the resulting technology to larger industrial-process- contractors/engineers in order to cover larger-scale markets. The economic impact at the endusers' side would involve up to 25% savings in process costs. Safety and environmental impact is also very positive as energy consuming, less efficient or waste producing processes such as distillation, adsorption or polymer membrane separation can be avoided. The envisioned project would have a budget of + .0 million ECU and last for 3 years. Several companies and institutes have indicated interest and have indicated that the time to market for the development after completion of the project would be Limited to 2 3 years for the small and medium sized applications.
Fields of science
- natural scienceschemical sciencesinorganic chemistryinorganic compounds
- natural scienceschemical sciencespolymer sciences
- natural sciencesearth and related environmental sciencesenvironmental sciencespollution
- engineering and technologychemical engineeringseparation technologiesdistillation
- engineering and technologymaterials engineeringceramics