Main Results


Membrane technology for bio-ethanol production

-A highly selective and energy-saving separation process, with ~15% lower costs in comparison to the batch process.


Significant improvement of bio-ethanol recovery using a pervaporation (silicone rubber-coated membrane)

-The recovered ethanol concentration in the permeate was 67 wt%, and the amount of recovered ethanol from the broth was more than 10 times higher than when using a noncoated membrane.


Pervaporative separation of bio-ethanol using a polydimethylsiloxane/polyetherimide composite hollow-fiber membrane

-Possible but dependent on the feed concentration and operating temperature for ethanol concentrations of 1% - 10%;

-Relatively good pervaporation performance with a total flux of 231 - 252 g/m2h.


Enhanced bio-ethanol production by pervaporation using a PDMS membrane bioreactor

-Increase of cell density, decreasing ethanol inhibition, improved productivity and yield, and resumption of clean and concentrated ethanol;

-Ethanol productivity increased by 26.83% over conventional batch fermentation;

-Ethanol concentration in permeated side was 6 to 7 times higher than that of the broth.


Bio-ethanol recovery using the pervaporation separation technique

-Zeolite 13× filled CA membrane has the better pervaporation performance;

-Application of CA membranes in industrial scale pervaporation units may be feasible for separation of ethanol/water mixtures;

-Bio-ethanol can be produced economically (using distillation and pervaporation by hybrid systems).


Membrane process opportunities and challenges in the bio-ethanol industry

-As a highly selective and energy-saving unit operation, membranes have a great potential in the bio-ethanol industry, both for starch-based and 2nd generation technology of bio-ethanol.


Membrane technologies for biorefining and bioenergy production

-Pervaporation membrane bioreactors (PVMBRs) and membrane distillation bioreactors (MDBRs) lead to higher ethanol productivity and minimize the inhibition;

-Membrane hybrid processes further improve biorefining and bioenergy production by decreasing energy consumption, reducing the number of processing steps, and producing high quality final products.


Lignocellulosic ethanol through polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membrane

-Yeasts, solid particles, and salts can increase ethanol flux and selectivity;

-Integrated process can effectively eliminate product inhibition, improve ethanol productivity, and enhance the glucose conversion rate.


Energy demand of biofuel production applying distillation and/or pervaporation

-Multi-stage pervaporation is needed to reach the fuel-grade quality of the bio-ethanol.