Pressure driven membrane processes are state-of-the-art technology for many different separation tasks in aqueous medium in many areas of the industry. Membranes with different pore sizes are utilized from water desalination over the separation of dissolved components such as proteins to the reliable separation of bacteria. Nevertheless, the application areas grow constantly. Contrary to that membrane applications for solvents are just at the beginning. Modern, chemical resistant membrane materials in combination with a profound understanding of the interactions between material, target component and solvents are necessary to be successful in these applications. GMT membranes are an excellent munition for the following applications.
Treatment of organic solvents
Separations in the ultrafiltration range can fail, once the target substances are dissolved in organic solvents. Either the chemical resistance of existing standard membranes is not sufficient or the membranes lose their performance due to swelling processes. In many areas this is not the case for GMT membranes. They are applicable for the clarification of fermentation broths, the separation of colloidal systems such as phospholipids in hexane as well as the treatment of water-oil mixtures such as produced water in crude oil production.
The operation of organophilic nanofiltration, also known as solvent resistant nanofiltration, offers attractive solutions for challenging separations in the molecular range between ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis, focusing on the treatment of solvents. As alternative to or in combination with thermal separation operations the use of organophilic membranes provides highly efficient processes for selective separations in solvents. Chemical and mechanical resistance in solvents such as alkanes, alcohols, ketones, aromatics, ethers and esters lead to an outstanding performance with regard to permeability and selectivity.
- Recovery of homogeneous catalysts from reaction mixtures
- Conditioning of liquid hydrocarbons
- Purification of organic solvents
- Product refining in the flavor industry