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Content archived on 2024-05-07

Zeolite Membranes on ceramic/sintered steel substrates for high tem perature/harsh environment applications


Industrial objective is to offer ZEOMEM (monocrystalline defect free zeolite molecular sieve with pores between 3-5A) membrane processes to a range of markets: oleochemical, agrochemical, fine petrochemical and environmental purification of air or other gasses. The core group proposers (system integrators or system integrators / end- users Setec-NL, K.D. Pharm a-DE, Vioryl-GR, Atlantis-GR and Biodesign-UK) aim to offer the superior characteristics of ZEOMEM processes to end-users in these sectors. The interest from industry in this technology is such that ZEOMEM is expected to result in sharp increases of turnover for the core group proposers if the project is successful. Technical objective is 1st to develop the labscale technology of defect-free zeolite membranes on robust substrates together with sealing, module and production technologies into a process that is fit for batch production of ZEOMEM modules. The 2nd technical objective is techno-economically feasible installations / process routes that can be proven to operate much more efficiently with less environmental impact under less demanding working conditions. The large potential end-users in the consortium aim to achieve to gain insight and experience on the requirements and benefits of applications of the membrane which can lead to further development for larger scale processes. The work is structured as a parallel development of membrane module and process modelling tools and process models for potential applications. Four example processes have been identified by potential end-users: toluene removal from air, dehydration of esterification reaction mixture at 260øC, dehydration of a caprolactam byproduct at 280øC and dehydration of various reaction mixtures in a multipurpose reaction vessel at 80 -130øC. Each sector is represented by a potential end-user: Atlantis-GR, Unichema-NL, DSM-NL, SKW-DE and Purac Biochem-NL. RTD performers are Smart Chemical Company (membrane process development),Velterop (module design and sealings), ATO-DLO (process analysis and modelling, characterisation of membrane, labscale testing) and Viana (characterisation of air purification and development of feasible filter set-up). The membrane work is developing a process that can be industriali'd to bond the zeolite membrane on a commercially available support, defect free and robust enough to withstand aggressive environments (pH <1, >12) and high temperatures (>300øC). Module development focusses on high temperature, high pressure resistant seals and joints to avoid thermoshock cracking and allow for economical production of a module with optimal performance. The process model development focusses on creating the right tools for specific modelling with this new membrane unit and optimizing process parameters in order to use the membrane as efficiendy as possible while minimizing any changes to the presently used process installation. The work is executed by a mix of companies and institutes that aim to exploit the potential offered by 'olite membrane - robust support technology. Main deliverables of dhe project are: 8 monotubular modules with specific process labtest results under real life conditions; modelling tools for ZEOMEM process development and assessment; database with membrane performance test results; overall techno-economical assessment of example processes. These results are to be developed by some of the partners in order to be commercialized in the various application sectors. The large scale application opportunities are to be developed in cooperation with partner Royal Schelde which has the appropriate resources and market presence to execute market development in these areas. The actual production of the ZEOMEM membrane modules is to be undertaken by a virtual industry cluster consisting of the core group proposers together with Smart Chemical Company, Velterop and Royal Schelde.

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Separation Technologies BV
EU contribution
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13,Rouwkooplaan 13
2250 AB Voorschoten

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Participants (13)