UOP, Vaperma offer ethanol efficiency technology

By Anna Austin | March 05, 2009
Web exclusive posted March 13, 2009, at 1:51 p.m. CST

Illinois-based UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, has formed an agreement with advanced gas separation systems developer Vaperma Inc. to jointly offer energy efficiency and emissions reduction technology for ethanol dehydration.

According to the agreement, Honeywell will offer and market Vaperma's Siftek polymer membrane technology, which was commercially launched in June 2008 and is applicable to conventional crop-based ethanol, as well as cellulosic ethanol plants.

The Siftek technology can be used in ethanol production to "de-water" ethanol streams to get a higher than 99 percent pure fuel-grade ethanol product. "Second-generation cellulosic processes will benefit the most from steam savings and allow for increased bioelectricity generation and revenue," said Vaperma Chief Executive Officer and President Claude Letourneau.

The Siftek membranes are polymeric hollow fibers that allow the separation of water vapor from other vapor compounds in a gas mixture. Permeation of water vapor across the membrane occurs by adsorption of water onto the interior surface of the membrane. The water is then diffused across the membrane and desorbed at the outer surface of the membrane.

Vaperma has partnered with companies such as Canada-based Greenfield Ethanol Inc. and ethanol producer Dedini S/A Indústrias de Base to test the Vaperma technology at operating ethanol plants. To learn more, visit www.vaperma.com/en/projects/current_projects.php.