Development of a Membrane-Based System for the Recovery and Reuse of Solvents

EPA Contract Number: 68D60021
Title: Development of a Membrane-Based System for the Recovery and Reuse of Solvents
Investigators: McCray, Scott B.
Small Business: Bend Research Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1996 through March 1, 1997
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , SBIR - Waste , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Increasingly, industry is recycling solvents to prevent pollution and minimize costs for the purchase of fresh solvents and the hauling and disposal of hazardous waste. However, recycling is difficult because many solvents form azeotropes that are difficult to break using traditional technologies (e.g., distillation). The use of membrane processes for these separations has been limited, due to high costs and limitations in current modules and process designs.

Bend Research, Inc.'s goal is to develop a cost-effective membrane system for the recovery and reuse of solvents. This system employs two innovations: 1) solvent- and temperature-resistant hollow-fiber modules, and 2) a novel operating mode that maximizes system performance. These innovations will make possible a system design that should have the low cost, performance, and versatility to be applicable to numerous solvent-recycle applications.

Phase I will be focused on an important industrial target: the recycle of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) in the microelectronics industry. They will demonstrate that the system should produce a high-purity IPA stream suitable for recycle, at an affordable cost. In Phase II, they will develop the system, conduct pilot tests, and examine the use of the technology for other applications, generating the data needed for commercialization.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, engineering, chemistry, air emissions., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Sustainable Industry/Business, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, Hazardous Waste, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, hazardous waste treatment, advanced treatment technologies, cleaner production, industrial waste, waste minimization, waste reduction, chemical use efficiency, solvent recovery, recycled waste products, clean technology, pollution control, membrane processes, industrial process, electronics industry, solvent recycling, hazardous chemicals, waste recovery, electronics , isopropyl alcohol recovery, pollution prevention

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Development of a Membrane-Based System for the Recovery and Reuse of Solvents