Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Solving the problem of solvent recovery

Industries across a wide scope of activity rely on the use of solvents for their manufacturing needs. These solvents are often expensive and pose a serious environmental threat. Therefore, finding viable ways for their recovery is expected to be extremely beneficial.
Solving the problem of solvent recovery
The usual approach for solvent recovery relies upon the principle of pervaporation, in other words the use of porous membranes to successfully extract the solvent from other impurities. An Israeli SME has developed an innovative pervaporation membrane in hollow fibre configuration, which according to the company, significantly reduces energy costs.

The use of the new membranes involves fewer steps as part of the overall process, thus reducing the amount of energy required and resulting in an end-product of high purity. Although these new pervoporation membranes allow a departure from distillation, which is the norm in this process, the two approaches can be used in unison. The end-process is a hybrid synergetic and highly efficient solution suitable for on-site recovery solutions.

The overall advantages of the invention relate to a large extent to the hollow fibre configuration, which eliminates the use of membrane support, thus lowering overall costs. The unique ion-exchange feature of this approach allows the separation between polar and non-polar solvents further enhancing the applicability of these membranes.

Initial prototypes can be used to demonstrate the validity of the company's assertions and potential industrial partners are invited to lend their support. The SME is in a position to enter into technical and commercial agreements and provide the necessary assistance to any new partners.
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