(408e) Novel 3D-Printed Integrated Membrane Box for Multi-Component Multi-Phase Separation Using a Combination of Supported Ionic Liquid Membranes and Hydrogel-Coated Membranes
AIChE Annual Meeting
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 3:50pm to 4:00pm
Although membrane-based separation technologies represent an energy-efficient alternative to traditional methodologies (e.g., fractional distillation), such processes are inherently limited to single selectivity. Fundamentally, multi-component mixture separations can be achieved by the selective permeability of a membrane substrate, either via imposed pressure or concentration gradient. However, those with multiple components and phases are required to be separated with more than one single processing step. To overcome the deficiencies in the current paradigm, a 3D-printed integrated membrane device capable of simultaneously separating multi-component and multi-phase mixture has been developed in our lab. Taking advantage of 3D printing technology, the established fabrication technique allowing localized control over membrane composition as well as topography, a single integrated membrane device can have multiple selectivities. Two distinct separation mechanisms were being utilized. The first one is a gravity-fed separation of a multi-phase oil-water mixture. With water-assisted separation, we have shown that the wettability of a 3D-printed membrane can be tailored to enhance the oil-water separation efficiency by applying a hydrogel-coating on the membrane. The second one is an extraction-based separation of a miscible multi-component mixture through a supported ionic-liquid membrane (SILM). The miscibility between the impregnated ionic liquid and one of the mixture components, but not the other, is the driving force for this miscible multi-component separation. We have assembled the two membranes in a single 3D-printed integrated membrane device and demonstrated the successful separation of benzene/heptane/water, a three-component and two-phase liquid mixture. By designing and modifying the internal structure of the integrated membrane device using computer-aided design (CAD), we have successfully enhanced the separation throughput. Our work suggests that the novel 3D-printed integrated membrane device has great potential in the next-generation manufacturing and separation industry.