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This difference with the process of distillation is the prime INTRODUCTION TO MEMBRANE SEPARATIONS 57 driving force for the use of pervaporation. Pervaporation can effectively shift the vapour/ liquid equilibrium to positions at which a higher fraction of product vapour is produced in a single step. The process is not limited by the formation of azeotropes and the latter is a major application area in for example dehydration of azeotropes of ethanol and water. The relatively high costs of pervaporation equipment in achieving this phase change in a single step generally means that target areas of pervaporation are separations which themselves involve high costs.

Fig 7 shows a typical variation of flux with concentration factor for a polyaramide UF membrane and a polyethersulphone UF membrane during the concentration of an oily wastewater. Flowrate and Fouling Recirculation Flow Rates or the feed stream flow rate has a major effect on permeate flux. 8 R e c o v e r y factor FIGURE 6 - Variation of flux with conversion for the ultrafiltration of an oily flowrate. Work-Up of Fermentation Broths PoiysrImJde (UF. 20,000 D) Polyeulforle (UF. 20,000 D) Polyoultone (MF.

A major problem with asymmetric membranes was found to be their susceptibility to faults and pin holding which caused a drastic fall off in selectivity. This problem was solved by coating the membrane skin with a thin layer of silicone polymer for example, which exhibits high permeability and low selectivity, which effectively sealed the faults. Membranes for gas permeation are either one of two types: elastomer eg polydimethylsiloxane and polymethylpentene, or glassy polymer eg polyimide or polysulfone.

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