Separation of tetrahydrofuran from aqueous mixtures by pervaporation

J. Mencarini, R. Coppola, C. S. Slater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Studies on the separation of tetrahydrofuran (THF) and water by pervaporation were conducted. A silicalite-filled silicone composite membrane was used for organic permeation and a polyvinyl alcohol composite membrane for dehydration. Effects of feed concentration, feed temperature, permeate-side pressure, and type of membrane were studied. The silicone composite membrane yielded a selectivity of 205 and a THF flux of 1.1 kg/m2·h at benchmark conditions of 50°C feed temperature, 2 torr permeate-side pressure, and a feed concentration of 4.4% w/w THF. An increase in temperature increased the flux exponentially in an Arrhenius-type manner, but had little effect on selectivity. These data show that the trend agrees with an Arrhenius-type relationship. An increase in feed concentration increased the flux, but the selectivity for THF decreased. As the permeate-side pressure increased, the flux decreased in a sigmoidal fashion, but the selectivity for THF increased. Some initial studies on dehydration were also performed. Use of pervaporation in a solvent recovery/reuse system in industry has also been examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-481
Number of pages17
JournalSeparation Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation


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