Energy Efficient Membrane Offers New Separation Technology

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A new membrane-based separation technology could provide an efficient and environmentally sustainable alternative to current nanofiltration methods based on organic solvents.

Conventional thermal-based separation technologies consume significant amounts of energy because they require heat to drive the separation processes and typically account for anywhere between 40-70 percent of the total capital and operational cost of a chemical plant.

Alternatively, separation technologies that use mixed-matrix membranes (MMMs) containing metal-organic framework (MOF) fillers do not require heat and consume up to 90 percent less energy than distillation, resulting in a more efficient separation process with sustainability benefits, in addition to added energy and cost savings.

However, the lack of interfacial adhesion between the polymer matrix and the MOF filler causes nanosized gaps, creating defects and voids on the membrane’s surface, which can diminish…

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