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Schematic of the Pervaporation Process

The properties of ZSL's zeolite membrane are unique:

  • Dry from 99.5% water to <0.05% water
  • High water fluxes
  • Very high selectivity
  • pH operating range 6 to 10
  • Temperature range 5°C to 250°C
  • Low fouling & robust
    (Inorganic Zeolite Na 4Á Membrane chemically bonded to an α-alumina porous tubular multi channel support - protected from mechanical damage as grown on the internal surface of the channels)
  • Stable to solvents & solids

There is an increasing demand for ethanol for blending into biofuels. Water removal (drying) is a crucial stage in the manufacture of the 99.8% pure ethanol needed. The removal of the water from ethanol that remains after distillation is difficult and expensive, and this is where ZSL's technology promises to deliver real benefits.

Traditional techniques such as azeotropic distillation and sieve Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA systems), used for drying bioethanol can be expensive and energy intensive.



Zeolite structure


ZSL's unique zeolite membrane technology addresses these challenges.
The figure below illustrates how the ZSL technology works, with a mixture passing down the centre of the tube either in liquid (Pervaporation) or gas (Gas permeation) mode, and only water passing through the membrane from the inside to the outside of the tube.



Membrane




Pervaporation table


The ZSL technology can be incorporated into stand alone, fully automated plants for dehydrating organic solvents and other wet feeds. Pilot trials and production testing has been conducted to maximise performance. The picture below is of a standard module consisting of multiple "tubes".



Module


The technology has been improved and refined building upon that originally developed at BPand SCC and by the company's founders. ZSL new generation technology is based on patents and IPR owned by Phoenix IPR Ltd (PIPR) and the technology is exclusively licensed to ZSL. The ownership of ZSL and PIR are identical.





plant processing image

The above plant was used by a toll solvent recycler to dry iso-propyl alcohol. This plant ran continuously with out any problems for over two years during for the lifetime of the campaign contract and paid for itself within 9 months.


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