Water conservation is one of important sustainability issues in production and/or conversion of biomass to fuels. In this presentation, the author will use micro-algae growth and fermentation production of ethanol fuel as two examples to elaborate application of respective microfiltration and molecular separation membranes to water sustainability. Growth of micro-algae requires a large water resource, innovations of membrane materials and processes will be discussed for efficient harvesting of micro-algae from dilute culture solution and complete recycling of the water and nutrients. The fermentation process requires a lot of water injection and produces a dilute ethanol mixture. Studies on impacts of novel zeolite membranes on water reuses and minimization of waste water discharge will be presented.
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