Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Membrane technology for solvent recovery

Scientists have designed a membrane-based filtration unit for purifying solvents from industrial waste.
Membrane technology for solvent recovery
Organic solvents are used by thousands of companies in a wide range of industries. Unfortunately, solvent recovery has traditionally relied on slow and inefficient distillation methods that produce large volumes of hazardous waste.

The EU-funded 'Solvent purification and recycling in the process industry using innovative membrane technology' (SOLVER) project aimed to develop a more efficient system. The approach targeted membrane techniques such as pervaporation (PV) and organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN).

SOLVER researchers first developed a new method for real-time monitoring of membrane behaviour. This was used to assess the success of the tested systems as well as develop a model of solvent transport across PV and OSN membranes.

Four case studies were selected based on the perceived needs of the industry, both in terms of purification and demand for specific solvents. Two of the case studies were addressed using PV technology, and the other two used OSN.

Lab-scale tests were generally successful, and so researchers built new prototypes for pilot-scale testing. Overall, the pilot-scale systems performed as well or better than expected.

Individual members of the SOLVER consortium will continue to develop these systems for commercial application. This project has the potential for major impact on industrial waste recovery.

Related information


Membrane technology, solvent recovery, filtration, industrial waste, solvent purification, pervaporation, organic solvent nanofiltration, waste recovery
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