Pervaporation of ethanol from lignocellulosic fermentation broth

Pervaporation can be applied in ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass. Hydrophobic pervaporation, using a commercial PDMS membrane, was employed to concentrate the ethanol produced by fermentation of lignocellulosic hydrolysate. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing this. Pervaporation carried out with three different lignocellulosic fermentation broths reduced the membrane performance by 17-20% as compared to a base case containing only 3 wt.% ethanol in water. The membrane fouling caused by these fermentation broths was irreversible. Solutions containing model lignocellulosic components were tested during pervaporation at the same conditions. A total flux decrease of 12-15%, as compared to the base case, was observed for each component except for furfural. Catechol was found to be most fouling component whereas furfural permeated through the membrane and increased the total flux. The membrane selectivity increased in the presence of fermentation broth but remained unchanged for all selected components.

S.S. Gaykawad, Y. Zha, P.J. Punt, J.W. van Groenestijn, L.A.M. van der Wielen, A.J.J. Straathof
Authors from the NMC: 
2013; 129: 469-476
Published in: 
Bioresource Technology
Date of publication: 
February, 2013
Status of the publication: