Testing and evaluation of nanofiltration membranes in industrial processes

Publieke samenvatting

Organic Solvent Nanofiltration (OSN) is known and recognized as very energy efficient alternative for energy intensive separations like distillation, yet is presently limited to separations with relatively large (size) differences between the solvent and the component(s) to be separated (typical Molecular Weight Cut Off (MWCO) > 500 Da). Expansion of OSN to separations in lower mass regions (< 300 Da) is wanted by industry, but membranes that can do separations at elevated temperatures (≥ 100 °C) and small differences (size, shape, polarizability, complexibility) between the components to be separated from/in a mixture are not standard and definitely not commercially available.

Doel van het project
(a) to develop concepts to make very tight, low swelling NF or RO membranes for organic solvents with a MWCO < 300 Da and applicable at elevate temperature and (b) to test these membranes in process mixtures as present in industry and to demonstrate / to evaluate their economic feasibility on small scale, thereby reaching TRL 6. Special interest exists for being able to separate components in a mixture having near boiling points (close boiler systems). Even higher energy reductions are expected to be achievable for separation of these systems compared the 50-60% reduction that can be obtained for “easy” solvent recovery processes that incorporate distillation and straight-forward NF.

Korte omschrijving
Korte omschrijving van de activiteiten
Development of membranes based on 5 selected proven membrane types (respectively Hybsi®-, highly cross linked - , block-copolymer - , extra cross linked metal organic framework - and Grignard grafted ceramic membranes), tested in 4 industrial stream compositions, typically for serving the hydrocarbons and isocyanate market. They will be tailored for and tested by the end users. Making a technical-economic evaluation and a road map to implementation. Aim is to enable within 5 years after project completion of this project a first demonstration at higher temperature applications; SME Solsep, partner in this project, is at present involved in implementing OSN in milder processes.

New, robust solvent stable membranes with narrow MWCO < 300 Da for OSN (more specific for hydrocarbon and isocyanate containing process streams), able to stand the typical elevated T, p and reactivity environments met in production. Better understanding how a narrow MWCO can be realized. Small elements / modules applied on real industrial streams in a laboratory environment (TRL 6). A technical-economic evaluation and roadmap towards further technology implementation.
streams in a laboratory environment (TRL 6). Roadmap for scale up of membranes as well as technology