The article focuses on multicomponent system separation with the use of an innovative membrane-based technique i.e. pervaporation. Pervaporation is a membrane technique for separation of liquid mixtures on solid nonporous membranes. Pervaporation is used in this study to separate a quaternary system acetone-butanol-ethanol-water. Such a system may be derived from ABE fermentation process, and the resulting product, biobutanol, is a potential biofuel and may be used in internal combustion engines. Experiments in the study involving concentration of butanol by pervaporation were performed using PERVAP 4060 flat-sheet commercial membrane. To describe the PV process a semi-empirical approach was used. As a result of experiments and calculations permeance coefficients were obtained. Separation and permeance factors were calculated to assess the efficiency of the system separation. Beforehand, activity coefficients were determined for all the components of the mixture with the NRTL equation. Separation coefficients for all the components differed depending on process parameters: concentration, feed flow rate and process temperature. The study confirmed the separation effect of the quaternary system. The most interesting results were obtained for the concentration of butanol. Pervaporation allows to concentrate butanol over 10 times. The permeance coefficient reached for butanol an average value of 7.06·10-3 in comparison with the results for ethanol 3.24·10-2 and acetone 1.83·10-2 [kmol(m2h)-1]. The temperature change from 50 to 70°C led to an increased permeance factor and there was no apparent effect on it in the feed flow rate. Due to the hydrophobicity of the membrane water fluxes in the quaternary system were negative.
In order to assess the influence of hydrodynamic effects on the recovery of n-butanol by means of pervaporation, a commercial PERVAP 4060 membrane was investigated. Laboratory pervaporation experiments were carried out providing a comparison of the permeation fluxes and enrichment factors. While the enrichment factors achieved in both modules under the same process conditions were comparable, the permeation fluxes differed from each other. In order to explain the observed differences, hydrodynamic conditions in the membrane module were examined by means of CFD simulation performed with ANSYS Fluent 14.5 software. Two different modules having membrane diameters of 80 mm and 150 mm were analyzed. As a result, different velocity profiles were obtained, which served to estimate the mass transfer coefficients of butanol, ethanol and acetone.
In this work the esterification of diethyl tartrate was studied. The research was focused on the enhancement of reversible reaction yield, which is accomplished by dewatering of the reaction mixture. The removal of water shifts the equilibrium towards the main product. Pervaporation was applied for this purpose, and results were compared to distillation. The advantages and limitations of both processes are discussed. The experimental part consists of dewatering of mixture after the reaction had reached the equilibrium, and was subsequently fed to the test rig equipped with a single zeolite membrane purchased from Pervatech B.V. Results show a significant conversion increase as a result of water removal by pervaporation. Compared to distillation no addition of organics is necessary to efficiently remove water above the azeotrope. Nevertheless, some limitations and issues which call for optimisation are pointed out. A simple numerical model is proposed to support design and sizing of the pervaporation system. Various modes of integrated system operation are also briefly discussed.
This paper presents the recent advances in pervaporative reduction of sulfur content in gasoline. Methods of preliminary selection of membrane active layer material are presented. Interactions between gasoline components (typical hydrocarbon and sulfur species) and membranes are showed. Influence of pervaporation process parameters i.e. feed temperature, downstream pressure and feed flow rate on the separation efficiency is discussed. Investigations of the influence of sulfur concentration in fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) gasoline on membrane performance have been conducted. A series of PV tests was carried out to investigate the separation properties of the commercial composite membrane with an active layer made of poly(dimethylsiloxane) and to determine the efficiency of organic sulphur compound (thiophene) removal from model thiophene/n-heptane mixture depending on its concentration.
A novel absorbing pervaporation hybrid technique has been evaluated experimentally for the recovery of ammonia from the gas mixture in a recycle loop of synthesis plants. This process of hybridization brings together the combination of energy-efficient membrane gas separation based on poly(dimethylsiloxane) poly(diphenylsilsesquioxane) with a high selective sorption technique where a water solution with polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG-400) was used as the liquid absorbent. Process efficiency was studied using the pure and mixed gases. The influence of PEG-400 content in aqueous solutions on process selectivity and separation efficiency was studied. The ammonia recovery efficiency evaluation of an absorbing pervaporation technique was performed and compared with the conventional membrane gas separation. It was shown that the absorbing pervaporation technique outperforms the conventional membrane method in the whole range of productivity, producing the ammonia with a purity of 99.93 vol.% using the PEG 80 wt.% solution. The proposed method may be considered as an attractive solution in the optimization of the Haber process.