(226b) Organic Solvent Nanofiltration Molecular Separations In Organic Liquids | AIChE

(226b) Organic Solvent Nanofiltration Molecular Separations In Organic Liquids


Livingston, A. G. - Presenter, Imperial College London

Organic liquids are ubiquitous in chemical science based industries, which range in scale from refining to pharmaceutical production. It is generally accepted that 40-70% of capital and operating costs in these industries are dedicated to separations; and a substantial fraction of this cost is related to processing of organic liquids, both as product streams and solvents. Organic Solvent Nanofiltration (OSN) technology has the potential to provide game changing alternatives to conventional concentration and purification technologies such as distillation, liquid extraction, adsorption and chromatography, reducing energy requirements and so improving sustainability.

In order to achieve this potential, membrane modules must meet several challenges. They must be stable in organic solvents, offer attractive fluxes and rejections for systems of interest, and give reliable and predictable service lifetime and performance. The obvious benefits of membrane processing have been apparent for many years, and have attracted research, development and commercialisation efforts from academic groups, end users, and membrane suppliers. In the last few years these efforts have resulted in a growing range of commercially available membranes, and an increasing number of industrial applications.

This presentation will firstly briefly describe recent developments leading to a new class of OSN membranes and modules. The DuraMemTM series OSN membranes are made through post-formation processing including crosslinking of polymer membranes, which makes them stable in polar solvents such as acetone, DMF and THF. These membranes are commercially available from Evonik MET as spiral elements. Some of the key challenges overcome in developing a membrane from lab bench discovery to a commercially available product will be described.

The presentation will then describe recent research in OSN membrane formation, and OSN applications. New membranes include thin film composites, based on interfacial polymerisation (TFC-IP), having good flux and rejection in solvents including DMF and THF. There are a growing number of applications of OSN to industrial separation problems, and some will be outlined, together with the advantages OSN brings to commercial systems. Prediction of process performance for organic liquid systems will be discussed. Finally, the attributes of “ideal“ membranes, and likely limitations on system performance will be outlined.