Eng Toon Saw


2 Ultrathin Tin-Silicalite 1 Zeolite Membrane in Ester Solvent Recovery

Authors: Eng Toon Saw, Kun Liang Ang, Wei He, Xuecheng Dong, Seeram Ramakrishna


Ester solvents are widely used in pharmaceutical, printing and flavor industry due to their good miscibility, low toxicity, and high volatility. Through pervaporation, these ester solvents can be recovered from industrial wastewater. While metal-doped silicalite 1 zeolite membranes are commonly used in organic solvent recovery in the pervaporation process, these ceramic membranes suffer from low membrane permeation flux, mainly due to the high thickness of the metal-doped zeolite membrane. Herein, a simple method of fabricating an ultrathin tin-silicalite 1 membrane supported on alumina tube is reported. This ultrathin membrane is able to achieve high permeation flux and separation factor for an ester in a diluted aqueous solution. Nanosized tin-Silicalite 1 seeds which are smaller than 500nm has been formed through hydrothermal synthesis. The sn-Silicalite 1 seeds were then seeded onto alumina tube through dip coating, and the tin-Silicalite 1 membrane was then formed by hydrothermal synthesis in an autoclave through secondary growth method. Multiple membrane synthesis factors such as seed size, ceramic substrate surface pore size selection, and secondary growth conditions were studied for their effects on zeolite membrane growth. The microstructure, morphology and the membrane thickness of tin-Silicalite 1 zeolite membrane were examined. The membrane separation performance and stability will also be reported.

Keywords: Pervaporation, ceramic membrane, solvent recovery, Sn-MFI zeolite

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1 Ultrathin NaA Zeolite Membrane in Solvent Recovery: Preparation and Application

Authors: Seeram Ramakrishna, Eng Toon Saw, Kun Liang Ang, Wei He, Xuecheng Dong


Solvent recovery process is receiving utmost attention in recent year due to the scarcity of natural resource and consciousness of circular economy in chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing process. Solvent dehydration process is one of the important process to recover and to purify the solvent for reuse. Due to the complexity of solvent waste or wastewater effluent produced in pharmaceutical industry resulting the wastewater treatment process become complicated, thus an alternative solution is to recover the valuable solvent in solvent waste. To treat solvent waste and to upgrade solvent purity, membrane pervaporation process is shown to be a promising technology due to the energy intensive and low footprint advantages. Ceramic membrane is adopted as solvent dehydration membrane owing to the chemical and thermal stability properties as compared to polymeric membrane. NaA zeolite membrane is generally used as solvent dehydration process because of its narrow and distinct pore size and high hydrophilicity. NaA zeolite membrane has been mainly applied in alcohol dehydration in fermentation process. At this stage, the membrane performance exhibits high separation factor with low flux using tubular ceramic membrane. Thus, defect free and ultrathin NaA membrane should be developed to increase water flux. Herein, we report a simple preparation protocol to prepare ultrathin NaA zeolite membrane supported on tubular ceramic membrane by controlling the seed size synthesis, seeding methods and conditions, ceramic substrate surface pore size selection and secondary growth conditions. The microstructure and morphology of NaA zeolite membrane will be examined and reported. Moreover, the membrane separation performance and stability will also be reported in isopropanol dehydration, ketone dehydration and ester dehydration particularly for the application in pharmaceutical industry.

Keywords: Pharmaceutical Industry, ceramic membrane, NaA zeolite, solvent recovery

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