Separation of Aqueous Solutions By Sustainable Hybrid Process Design

Separation of
Aqueous Solutions by Sustainable Hybrid Process Design

Nooshin Shahlari BS.
Chemical Engineering University of Kansas ; Kyle V. Camarda PhD. University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045; Rafiqul Gani PhD. Technical
University of Denmark, S¿ltofts Plads


is an extremely energy intensive process, consuming about 10-15% of the worldÕs
energy consumption. The rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to the
greenhouse effect, which traps the sunÕs energy on earth and results in an
overall temperature increase. 90% of separation processes energy in the
chemical and petroleum industries, which results in a large carbon footprint.2
Replacement of energy intensive distillation processes with a hybrid
membrane-distillation processes is proposed for aqueous separations in this
paper to improve the energy efficiency the large energy consumption and
greenhouse gas emissions. Three sets of aqueous separation systems simulated
using Pro II, comparing traditional distillation with hybrid membrane
distillation systems. Results show that an energy and CO2 savings of
95% for acetic acid/water solutions are possible, 92% for acetone/water, while 42%
for methanol/water with the hybrid systems. For the three separations
investigated, the payback period for small scale systems was 0.13, 0.07, and
0.53 years respectively. A hybrid distillation process decreases energy usage
by 63-99% to reach purities of 90-99.5% in these aqueous mixtures. This study
showed that hybrid membrane distillation systems are economically attractive
for important industrial separations.


Sholl, D. S., & Lively, R. P. (2016). Seven chemical
separations to change the world. Nature,
532(7600), 435-437. doi:10.1038/532435a

Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Materials for Separation Technologies: Energy and Emission Reduction