Enhanced Processing of Green Solvents

EPA Contract Number: EPD13038
Title: Enhanced Processing of Green Solvents
Investigators: Bowser, John
Small Business: Compact Membrane Systems Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: May 15, 2013 through November 14, 2013
Project Amount: $80,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2013) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Innovation in Manufacturing


Solvents are a valuable processing tool in the chemical and related industries. Solvents are used to enhance mass transfer, heat transfer and in most cases are a processing aid and eventually are not used in the final product but to enhance the fabrication of the final product. While solvents are very valuable, they also cause a significant problem with their volatility and associated emissions.
Manufacturing processes that utilize green technology or in this case green solvents while improving processing and reducing emissions are very desirable. This program will specifically address a family of green solvents that actually are superior to conventional solvents and, since they have low volatility, do not have the emissions problems of conventional solvents.
Compact Membrane Systems (CMS) has developed a novel amorphous perfluoro membrane system to enhance the use of these desirous green solvents. Recent developments at CMS with E.I. DuPont are such that we now work with green amorphous perfluoropolymers. Most specifically, we have eliminated the use of PFOA (perfluoro octanolc acids) in synthesis of these amorphous perfluoropolymers. This is an effort on CMS’s part to be greener and be directly responsive to the EPA’s directive to eliminate PFOA surfactants.
In Phase I we will first fabricate these membrane systems for enhanced processing of green solvents.  Finally CMS will conduct economic evaluation of the CMS membrane system to confirm attractive process economics. While CMS has only conducted preliminary work with these green solvents, much of the needed CMS infrastructure is in place so CMS has the ability to rapidly service green solvent markets.

Supplemental Keywords:

green solvents, mass transfer, heat transfer, green technology, amorphous perfluoropolymers, PFOA, perfluoro octanoic acids

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Enhanced Processing of Green Solvents  | Final Report