May 19th 2021
Two speakers enlighted us about their project. First speaker was Anita Buekenhoudt of VITO with the EASiCHEM project (SBO project). Nowadays, many chemical companies are confronted with very challenging liquid separations, aiming at separating molecules with very similar physical properties. The current trend, towards more bio-based and/or highly-tailored chemicals, will only increase the number of these demanding separations. These challenges would benefit from efficient affinity-based separations. The most traditional affinity-separation technology is liquid-liquid extraction, where the extracting solvent acts as the separation agent. In this EASiCHEM project, it is shown that the use of (functionalised) membranes can boost the extraction process, adding selectivity directed by solute-membrane affinity, and minimizing solvent use. Results will be shown for different industrial relevant separation cases.
Second speaker of the symposium was Ivo Vankelecom professor at KU Leuven of the MTG department. He presented the Nanomexico project. Nanofiltration Membranes for EXtreme Industrial COnditions. This project aims for the development of polymer-based membranes for aqueous nanofiltration (NF) and for solvent resistant NF (SRNF). This will be tested in extreme pH values and in any kind of solvent and irrespective solute.