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SEPARATION OF AQUEOUS ORGANIC ACIDIC MIXTURES BY PERVAPORATION

Objective


A technology for dehydration acetic acid and esters by pervaporation was developed by researchers in this project. Applications have been tested and delivered for commercial use.

In certain cases, this process is better than conventional technologies. Dehydration of formic acid was hindered by corrosion problems but PVC/PAN membranes have shown some promising results and tests continue. The membrane showed positive results in acetic acid dehydration for a wide range of water concentrations.
MEMBRANE PROCESSES HAVE BECOME ESTABLISHED AS LOW COST INDUSTRIAL SEPARATION PROCESSES GIVING REDUCTIONS IN BOTH ENERGY AND CAPITAL.
RECENTLY THE MEMBRANE TECHNIQUE KNOWN AS PERVAPORATION HAS BEEN COMMERCIALISED IN EUROPE FOR DEWATERING AQUEOUS ORGANIC SOLVENTS. WIDER APPLICATION OF THIS TECHNOLOGY IS PRESENTLY LIMITED BY THE POOR STABILITY OF EXISTING PERVAPORATION MEMBRANES IN ACIDIC MEDIA.
THE MANUFACTURE OF CARBOXYLIC ACIDS AND THEIR ESTERS IS OF MAJOR IMPORTANCE TO THE EUROPEAN CHEMICAL INDUSTRY.

DRYING COSTS COMMONLY ACCOUNT FOR 20-50 % OF TOTAL OPERATING COSTS AND THEREFORE A SUITABLE PERVAPORATION SYSTEM COULD HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT IN REDUCING INDUSTRIES' SEPARATION COSTS.
THE OBJECTIVE OF THIS RESEARCH IS TO DEVELOP ACID RESISTANT PERVAPORATION MEMBRANES FOR DEWATERING AQUEOUS ORGANIC ACIDIC MIXTURES. THE 4 MAIN TASKS OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAMME WILL BE AS FOLLOWS. FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH WILL BE CARRIED OUT TO SELECT A SUITABLE POLYMER AND TO DEVELOP BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE PERVAPORATION PROCESS. MEMBRANES WILL THEN BE DEVELOPED AND EVALUATED, AND MODULE DESIGN PARAMETERS WILL BE INVESTIGATED.
PRELIMINARY PROCESS EVALUATION WILL ALSO BE UNDERTAKEN.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

BP Oil International Ltd
Address
1 Finsbury Circus
EC2M 7BA London
United Kingdom

Participants (3)

AACHEN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Germany
Address
Templergraben 55
52056 Aachen
Gesellschaft für Trenntechnik mbH
Germany
Address
Gerberstraße 48
66424 Homburg
University of Twente
Netherlands
Address
5,Drienerlolaan 5
7500 AE Enschede