Dehydration of aqueous aprotic solvent mixtures by pervaporation

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Turkey

Approval Date: 2012




Aprotic solvents are organic solvents which do not easily react with a substance dissolved in it and they do not exchange protons despite of their high ion and polar group dissolving power. Therefore, this characteristic property makes aprotic solvents very suitable intermediates in many industries producing pharmaceuticals, textile auxiliaries, plasticizers, stabilizers, adhesives and ink. Dehydration of these mixtures and recirculation of valuable materials are substantial issues in industrial applications. The conventional method for recovery of aprotic solvents has been distillation, which requires excessive amount of energy to achieve desired recovery. Hydrophilic pervaporation, which is a membrane based dehydration method with low energy consumption, may become an alternative. Because of high dissolving power of aprotic solvents only inorganic membranes can be employed for this application. In this study three types of inorganic membranes (NaA zeolite, optimized silica and HybSi) were employed. Main objective of this studys to investigate effect of membrane type and various operationg parameters (feed composition at a range of 50-5% and temperature at a range of 50-100oC) on pervaporative dehydration of aprotic solvents; dimethylacetamide, dimethylformamide and n-methylpyrrolidone. During the experiments, feed samples were analyzed with Karl Fischer Titration Method; permeate samples were analyzed with Gas Chromatography. Experiments showed that proper dehydration of aqueous aprotic solvent mixtures was succeded with all three membranes investigated. In the target feed water content range (50 to 20%wt), permeate water contents were higher than 98%wt which was quite acceptable for all membranes. Moreover, NaA zeolite membrane performed higher fluxes than optimized silica and HybSi in composition range of 50 to 15% water at 50oC. It was also observed that HybSi membrane had higher fluxes and permeate water contents than optimized silica membrane for all solvents. On the other hand, the rates of decrease in permeate fluxes changed depending on the type of solvent for optimized silica and HybSi membranes. With both membranes, permeate flux of dimethylformamide decreased much slower than that of n-methylpyyrolidone. Furthermore, the results showed that permeate fluxes of HybSi membrane increased with increasing operation temperature due to the change of solvent activity in mixture. In addition, an Arrhenious type equation was used to describe changes in fluxes with changing temperature. It was also found that activation energy of water for diffusion through HybSi membrane was calculated as 8980 cal/mol.