Energy Efficient Membrane Based Acetone Recovery


The ‘Energy Efficient Membrane Based Acetone Recovery’ (EEMBAR) project has recently been concluded. Organic Solvent Nanofiltration (OSN) is an emerging technology that offers the possibility to recover organic solvents from industrial processes. At the IOILodersCroklaan (IOILC) fractionation factory tests have been executed with this technology during the EEMBAR project. From these test it emerged that OSN has the potential to lower the energy consumption of the distillation based acetone recovery process by 50%. Although the proof-of-principle was shown using SolSep’ s spiral wound elements, the difference between the laboratory experiment and the pilot tests was greater than anticipated. These same findings were recorded in the ceramic VITO-membranes.

It is assumed that complications with upscaling this technology arise from the characteristics and the concentration of these vegetable oils that the membrane has to be able to process. These factors have a significant influence on the mass-transition. The results provide a good insight into the further optimisation of this concept to a satisfactory solution in the industrial environment (TRL 7). In order to achieve this the design of the modules and a detailed process design is included in a next, currently ongoing, project.

Other partners in the project were the ISPT and Hogeschool Rotterdam. Hogeschool Rotterdam were responsible for the connection of the program with the educational program.


Project EEMBAR, Photo: Olivier Middendorp

This project is co-funded with subsidy from the Topsector Energy by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.