Document Type : Research Paper
Chemical Process and Energy Resources Institute, Centre for Research &amp; Technology Hellas
Chemical Process & Energy Resources Institute, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, Thessaloniki, Greece
Most research efforts about pervaporation in the literature have focused on membrane synthesis, trying to improve the membrane properties (flux and selectivity). However, industrial applications of the pervaporation technology could become attractive if the current available membranes proved to have sufficient and stable performance in order to be integrated in the toolbox of process engineers, as a complementary separation process. In this study, the ethanol dehydration performance of commercial hybrid silica membranes (HybSi®) was assessed in a semi-pilot pervaporation unit from a process-based perspective. The aim of the study is to reveal the high potential of the process and to create a benchmark for future studies in the field. The experimental results revealed that the proposed pervaporation process can efficiently break the ethanol/water azeotrope, allowing the production of high purity ethanol. The overall assessment of the obtained pilot results showed that the proposed process is quite efficient for attracting the industrial interest.