Process for organic solvent drying and concentration, breaking azeotropes
Pervaporation is a membrane process for organic solvent drying and concentration.
Pervaporation or vapor permeation (depending if the separation is performed starting from liquid phase or gas phase) is an optimal process to break azeotropes and to solve bottlenecking problems at competitive costs. It offers the possibility to separate miscible liquids of similar molar mass and it is an alternative method to distillation, overcoming the limitations of standard distillation in presence of azeotropes.
The membranes used in pervaporation processes are classified according to the nature of the separation being performed:
- Hydrophilic membranes are used to remove water from organic solutions.
- Organophilic membranes are used to remove organics from water solutions.
Pervaporation technology can offer considerable savings both in terms of costs and performances:
- The solvent can be concentrated down from any water level to very low water content
- Azeotropes are easily broken
- Membranes are highly selective and offer a continuous high flux operation
- Water produced is highly pure and can be reprocessed
- It is a low energy process