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Open AccessArticle

Concentration of 1,3-dimethyl-2-imidazolidinone in Aqueous Solutions by Sweeping Gas Membrane Distillation: From Bench to Industrial Scale

1
Institut Européen des Membranes UMR 5635, CNRS, ENSCM, Université de Montpellier, CC 047, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier, France
2
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Cantabria, Avda. Los Castros s/n, 39005 Santander, Cantabria, Spain
3
Kermel, 20 Rue Ampère, CEDEX, 68027 Colmar, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membranes 2019, 9(12), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9120158
Received: 6 November 2019 / Revised: 22 November 2019 / Accepted: 24 November 2019 / Published: 26 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Distillation Process)
Sweeping gas membrane distillation (SGMD) is a useful option for dehydration of aqueous solvent solutions. This study investigated the technical viability and competitiveness of the use of SGMD to concentrate aqueous solutions of 1,3-dimethyl-2-imidazolidinone (DMI), a dipolar aprotic solvent. The concentration from 30% to 50% of aqueous DMI solutions was attained in a bench installation with Liqui-Cel SuperPhobic® hollow-fiber membranes. The selected membranes resulted in low vapor flux (below 0.15 kg/h·m2) but were also effective for minimization of DMI losses through the membranes, since these losses were maintained below 1% of the evaporated water flux. This fact implied that more than 99.2% of the DMI fed to the system was recovered in the produced concentrated solution. The influence of temperature and flowrate of the feed and sweep gas streams was analyzed to develop simple empirical models that represented the vapor permeation and DMI losses through the hollow-fiber membranes. The proposed models were successfully applied to the scaling-up of the process with a preliminary multi-objective optimization of the process based on the simultaneous minimization of the total membrane area, the heat requirement and the air consumption. Maximal feed temperature and air flowrate (and the corresponding high operation costs) were optimal conditions, but the excessive membrane area required implied an uncompetitive alternative for direct industrial application. View Full-Text
Keywords: sweeping gas membrane distillation; 1,3-dimethyl-2-imidazolidinone; solvent dehydration; hollow-fiber membrane; multi-objective optimization sweeping gas membrane distillation; 1,3-dimethyl-2-imidazolidinone; solvent dehydration; hollow-fiber membrane; multi-objective optimization
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Abejón, R.; Saidani, H.; Deratani, A.; Richard, C.; Sánchez-Marcano, J. Concentration of 1,3-dimethyl-2-imidazolidinone in Aqueous Solutions by Sweeping Gas Membrane Distillation: From Bench to Industrial Scale. Membranes 2019, 9, 158.

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