Beside the removal of water from organic mixtures the removal of low volatile organic components (VOC´s) and alcohols (ethanol, butanol) with organophilic membranes from aqueous streams has been achieved. This is especially interesting for the removal of organics from fermentation broths. It permits for example the removal of an ABE solution from the fermentation broth keep the level of organics below the inhibition tolerance level of the microorganisms and permitting a continuous ABE fermentation.
Organophilic pervaporation for alcohol recovery from fermentation broth coupled with a hydrophilic pervaporation for water recovery from alcohol-water-solution can be in special cases more economical compared to distillation system.
An important application of organophilic pervaporation membranes is the removal of alcohol from vine and beer. Some flavours and aromas are usually lost be conventional treatment of beverages like evaporation or extraction. By the using of membrane technology, no extracting agents are used and the process can be carried on by low temperatures. Flavour properties of dealcoholised products are much better compared to conventional removing of alcohol.
Another important application of organophilic pervaporation membranes is the removal of aroma and flavours from juices. Aroma can be removed before juice concentration using distillation and can be added to concentrated product.
The separation of low volatile organic components (VOC´s) from gas streams through organophilic pervaporation membranes has become an accepted and widely used technology. Monomers like ethane, propene or vinyl chloride are economically recovered from strip or waste gas streams. In these applications the recovered material is sufficiently pore for further use and avoids in many cases expensive incineration or other post treatment steps.