Dehyrdation of Ethanol using Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic Membranes


Dehydration of Ethanol Using Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic Membranes

Yu (Ivy) Huang
Membrane Technology Research



The energy demand of distillation-based systems for ethanol recovery and dehydration can be significant, particularly for dilute solutions. The use of membrane vapor permeation/pervaporation technology to dehydrate bioethanol is therefore a very large potential membrane application. This talk describes the development of perfluoro polymer membranes for this separation. Hydrophobic perfluoro polymers were selected because their chemical and thermal stability allows them to be used at temperatures up to 130 °C in hot ethanol-water vapors. The permeance and selectivity of membranes made from these polymers are quite different from the properties of the crosslinked hydrophilic membranes that are commonly used to separate water-ethanol mixtures. Perfluoro polymers absorb less than 1% liquid in mixtures ranging from pure water to pure ethanol. As a result, the water permeance and water/ethanol selectivity of the membranes are essentially independent of feed water/ethanol composition. In contrast, crosslinked hydrophilic membranes can absorb significant amounts of water, and therefore, their permeance and selectivity are a strong function of the feed ethanol/water concentrations. Although the thermal and chemical stability of perfluoro membranes is very good, water permeances are low for commercial applications. We have recently developed a new type of multilayer composite membrane consisting of a perfluoro protective layer and a selective hydrophilic polymer underlayer. This membrane combines the good stability of hydrophobic perfluoro membranes with the high permeances and good selectivities of hydrophilic membranes.


Speaker Background

Dr. Huang joined Membrane Technology & Research (MTR) in 2005 as a Senior Research Engineer and Group Leader of the Liquid Separations Group. She received her Bachelor degree from Tsinghua University, her Masters degree from National University of Singapore, and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas, Austin. Currently, she is leading several MTR projects to develop membranes, modules, and processes for use in alcohol/water separations, especially for biofuel applications, and is concurrently leading a group to transfer the technology from the MTR biofuels laboratory studies into commercial BioSep™ product offerings. Several patents are published/pending in this area. In 2010-11, she directed the operation of a field test demonstration unit for this group. Before joining MTR, Ivy participated in a number of research projects sponsored by the Singaporean Government, U.S. Government agencies, and private clients. These programs ranged from fundamental membrane research to the design and development of membrane separation systems. Dr. Huang is author or co-author on about 20 peer-reviewed publications and is listed as co-inventor on about 10 patents/patent applications. Dr. Huang speaks frequently on BioSep and other biofuel applications of membranes.




Tuesday, August 21


Michael's Restaurant at Shoreline Park Mountain View, CA  94043
Directions  Map


6 PM social hour
7 PM dinner
8 PM lecture


Employed/postdoc Student/unemployed/retired
Early Registration - Up to 7 days in advance of deadline $30 $15
Registration - Up to deadline $35 $20
After deadline/walk-in (Availability NOT guaranteed) $40 $25

Lecture-only is free.


We accept cash or checks, but are unable to accept payment by credit card at this time. Payment is taken at the door.  No-shows are responsible for full payment of registration fee.


Please register on the web page or contact:
Mikki Larner

 650-596-1606, ext 2255

Deadline for registration:

5PM, Monday, August 13 for early registration discount
5PM, Monday, August 20 for registration (or until venue has reached capacity.)

Dinner Selection:

Broiled Salmon with Lemon Beurre Blanc
Chicken Florentine
Mushroom Crepes

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.