Professor Sankar Nair and his team, which includes Drs. Scott Sinquefield and Meisha Shofner, continue to work on the Robust Membranes consortium project to develop new robust membranes that can withstand the harsh environment posed by the black liquors leaving the kraft digester. State-of-the-art technology suggests that half of the required water removal can be accomplished with membrane filtration, thus reducing the evaporation heat load by half.
Engineering the molecular sieving (MS) capabilities and longevity of the membrane will be the key focus of the work. Achieving all of the goals in this project would prepare the technology for integration at the bench scale. A hypothetical Phase II follow-up project would include building a bench-scale unit (i.e., a single two-stage unit) and testing with hot weak black liquor from a kraft mill.
So far, three types of zeolite membranes and two types of carbon molecular sieve (CMS) membranes have been screened for pH stability. Additional CMS membranes are being prioritized for future work. The group targets commencement of operational testing in October. There is limited opportunity for additional subscriptions to this consortium-sponsored research.
Contact Dr. Norman Marsolan for further information (Norman.Marsolan@rbi.gatech.edu)