Penn State homepage
name graphic

Speaker Abstract

Membrane Separations — Opportunities in Bioenergy Production

Andrew L. Zydney
Department Head and Walter L. Robb Chair and Professor of Chemical Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University

One of the challenges in the production of alcohols from biomass is the relatively dilute product solution generated by fermentation. For example, biobutanol levels are typically limited to about 1% due to toxicity and / or inhibition. The productivity of these fermentation systems can be dramatically increased by continuous removal of the alcohol and other fermentation by-products. This talk will present an overview of potential applications of membrane technology in bioenergy production, focusing on the use of submerged microfiltration membranes and pervaporation.