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Solvent purification and recycling in the process industry using innovative membrane technology

Objective

Solvents are widely used in process industries such as chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food, biotechnology and microelectronics. The recovery of spent solvents containing all types of impurities presents a vast market, targeting thousands of small to medium sized companies in Europe that are generating highly as well as marginally polluted solvent streams. Many current solvent purification and manufacturing practices utilise a traditional, energy-intensive distillation-based technology in the production and/or recovery of liquid chemicals. This method of processing is costly, inefficient and produces a significant volume of hazardous waste. This project, SOLVER, proposes to debottleneck the heating step as well as the thermal chemical reactions involved, and replace them with membrane separation techniques working at room temperatures and able to achieve separations at the molecular level, i.e. pervaporation (PV) and organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN). Such chemical process intensification in solvent recovery and purification is expected to lead to significant improvements in product cost, materials usage, energy and waste reduction, as well as a decrease in risk and hazards. Thanks to the interdisciplinary and complementary skills of the consortium members, SOLVER aims at demonstrating the potential of OSN/PV technology in solvent manufacturing through lab-scale and pilot testing, but also at more fundamentally understanding the processes and the behavior of the membranes during filtration. The latter will be pursued by advanced characterization and on-line process monitoring tools. SOLVER joins two types of innovative SME end-users building out new business lines to stay ahead of competition. Two SMEs are active in solvent recycling/manufacturing, the other two in OSN/PV membrane production. The SME partners form a strategic supply chain and are expected to continue to leverage on the technological head-start after the project, take the results of the RTD work directly to the market, find new applications for their products, and be the market leaders in their respective sectors.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/commerce
  • /social sciences/economics and business
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/electromagnetism and electronics/microelectronics

Call for proposal

FP7-SME-2010-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

BSG-SME - Research for SMEs

Coordinator

VLAAMSE INSTELLING VOOR TECHNOLOGISCH ONDERZOEK N.V.
Address
Boeretang 200
2400 Mol
Belgium
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 29 340,62
Administrative Contact
Pieter Vandezande (Mr.)

Participants (6)

SOLSEP BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 152 100
Address
Vlietweg 81
7335 JE Apeldoorn
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
F. Petrus Cuperus (Dr.)
PERVATECH BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 86 400
Address
Heliumstraat 11
7463 PL Rijssen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Frans Velterop (Dr.)
GKA Technologies Limited
Ireland
EU contribution
€ 218 140
Address
Unit T25 Stillorgan Industrial Park
D18 Dublin
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Colm Lynch (Mr.)
DE NEEF CHEMICAL PROCESSING NV
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 92 800
Address
Industriepark 8
2220 Heist Op Den Berg
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Geert Vermeulen (Mr.)
PACKO INOX NV
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 75 720
Address
Torhoutsesteenweg 154
8210 Zedelgem
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Ove De Backer (Mr.)
FUNDACAO DA FACULDADE DE CIENCIAS E TECNOLOGIA DA UNIVERSIDADE NOVA DE LISBOA.
Portugal
EU contribution
€ 4 234
Address
Campus De Caparica, Quinta Da Torre S/n
2829516 Caparica
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Joao Crespo (Prof.)