Turkish Journal of Chemistry




In this study, mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) composed of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and porous ZSM-5 zeolite are thoroughly investigated for concentrating alcohols of ethanol and n-propanol via dewatering pervaporation. The effects of the zeolite content (10–30 wt.%), feed composition (5–30 wt.% water), and feed temperature (50–90 °C) on the pervaporation flux/separation factor and component permeance/selectivity of these MMMs are examined in detail. These MMMs achieve higher separation efficiency and pervaporation flux than their pure PVA counterparts as expected, even if the dehydration results strongly depend on the pervaporation conditions. The disparity in pervaporation performances acquired for different alcohol solutions may be understood in terms of polarity and molecular size, which differ among these alcohol molecules. The PVA/zeolite MMM of 20 wt.% ZSM-5 zeolite content performs substantially stably at 60 °C for the feed with 80 wt.% alcohol while maintaining separation factors of 660 or 820 and total fluxes of 970 or 825 g/m2h for dewatering water/ethanol and water/n-propanol, respectively. Thus, our membranes appear to be technically feasible for practical alcohol dehydration uses.


Poly(vinyl alcohol), zeolite, mixed matrix membrane, alcohol dehydration, pervaporation

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