Organic liquid mixtures are frequently produced in numerous industries for example petroleum refining process, and therefore the separation processes used for organic liquid separation play an essential role for product purification.
OSRO Is our membrane technology for the separation of
organic liquid mixtures
The separation of organic liquid mixtures by organic solvent reverse osmosis (OSRO) technology is promising owing to the high energy-efficiency. our mambrane is made of composite polymers of intrinsic microporosity-1/AlOx materials.
The OSRO membranes with denser structures offer favorable possibilities for organic liquid separation, far surpassing the traditional distillation and PV systems in terms of energy conservation.
solution-diffusion mechanism: The organic liquids are separated mainly due to their differences in sorption or diffusion behaviors in the membranes
why OSRO for separation of organic liquid mixtures ?
Alcohols are extensively used to produce other derivatives, which in turn serve as feedstocks for a wide array of chemical products. The separation of nonpolar liquids from methanol is frequently required in petroleum refinery applications. For example, economic fuel additives, such as methyl-t-butyl ether (MTBE), ethyl t-butyl ether, and t-amyl methyl ether, are synthesized by the reaction of methanol and isoolefins, using excess methanol with the reactants for higher yields.
Another application of OSRO involves dimethyl carbonate (DMC), a chemical with low toxicity and easy biodegradation, which is utilized in the production of polycarbonate resins and electrolytes for lithium batteries. DMC can be produced by the phosgenation and oxidative carbonylation of methanol, in which DMC must be separated from methanol
polar aprotic liquids, such as NMP, DMF, DMSO, and dimethylacetamide (DMAc) frequently act as extraction solvents in solvent exchange for pharmaceutical synthesis, owing to their high affinity for relatively nonpolar liquids (e.g., aromatics and hydrocarbons). After extraction, any residual extraction solvent must be removed from the unextracted components in the raffinate. Considering the high boiling point of these polar aprotic liquids, membrane processes without any phase changes are likely to be very useful.
fine chemical industry
In the fine chemical industry, methanol is usually sought to be separated from benzene and toluene. Ethanol-included systems are also popular, such as ethanol/benzene and ethanol/cyclohexane mixtures.
Aromatics are raw materials for numerous products of industrial interest, which are primarily made from catalytic reforming and cracking processes, producing a mixture of aromatics and alkanes. The aromatic percentage depends on process characteristics, ranging from 20 to 65 wt% for reformate gasoline and from 50 to >90% for pyrolysis gasoline. The separation of aromatics and alkanes has been considered a crucial process in the chemical industry.
nylon and resins
The most commonly encountered scenario is associated with cyclohexane, which is an important raw material for nylon and resins; 80–85% of cyclohexane is produced from benzene by catalytic hydrogenation, wherewith unreacted benzene being indispensable to be removed from the product stream
In another example, for C6–C7 liquid cuts used in gasoline manufacturing, the percentage of aromatics (such as benzene and toluene) must be controlled and limited to fit the regulation, and the PV process has been extensively applied for these separations. However, it is difficult to separate higher hydrocarbons, such as p-X/octane mixtures, by the PV process due to their low vapor pressures, which require operations at high temperatures and under high vacuum, and thus high energy. In addition, durable membrane materials are required for high-temperature usage. The OSRO technology can potentially avoid these problems as it operates at room temperature.
crude oil industry
Xylene isomers are primarily derived from the catalytic reforming of crude oil, which is a valuable raw material in the chemical industry. The global demand for p-X, o-X, and m-xylene is approximately 26, 6, and 0.4 million metric tons per year, respectively. Because of their similar characteristics and large demand, xylene isomer separation has been recognized as one of the seven globally most widespread separations. For example, in the case of traditional distillation, the number of theoretical plates needed to isolate m-xylene and p-X is approximately 360.
As another example in the petroleum industry, di-branched alkanes are preferred for high-octane gasoline, and they are produced by the catalytic isomerization of linear alkanes. Thus, the separation of di-branched alkane isomers from other isomers is crucial for producing high-quality gasoline
In synthetic chemistry, haloalkanes are highly valuable as feedstocks, and their isomers are commonly produced from the halogenation of alkanes or alkenes and obtained as a mixture, such that the satisfactory separation of haloalkane isomers is desirable. Other isomer systems, such as divinylbenzene isomers (m-divinylbenzene, p-divinylbenzene), polychlorobiphenyl (PCB) isomers, and alcohol isomers are of significance to the chemical industry.
Organic liquid/water mixture
Organic liquid/water separation also remains of substantial importance in the pharmaceutical industry, where numerous solvents with a wide range of characteristics must be separated. Commonly encountered organic liquids that must be dehydrated include alcohol, acetic acid, tetrahydrofuran (THF), acetone, and DMF
Dr. Saeid Rajabzadeh
membrane Department Manager
the brain behind our membrane technology:
Saeid is a specialist in the preparation, characterization, and application of polymeric membranes (hollow fiber and flat sheet) for water treatment and gas purification with a special focus on PVDF membrane preparation.
Basically, industrial objective oriented researcher with very close and strong collaboration with several famous international companies research and development departments to approach company goals.
- 15 years’ experience in spinning hollow fiber membranes using different methods:
- Batch type hollow fiber membrane preparation via TIPS and NIPS methods
- Continuous twin-screw extrusion hollow fiber for large-scale applications
- Preparation of antifouling membranes with tailoring membrane material and surface properties.
- Preparation of membranes with an appropriate structure for water treatment, wastewater treatment, and gas purification applications.
- Having several joint filed patent with membrane and polymer companies.
- Having published several journal papers with joint collaborative work with polymer or membrane companies.
- Regular progress report and sharing findings with collaborative companies under NDA terms and conditions.