High Flux Ti Nanofiltration Membrane for Efficient Processing of Bioproducts

Period of Performance: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Cerahelix
20 Godfrey Drive
Orono, ME 04473
Principal Investigator, Firm POC

Abstract

Complex mixtures encountered in biomass derived process streams include components which can inhibit fermentation. This can have a negative impact on the production capacity of the biorefinery as it can greatly decrease the output from the conversion of the biomass derived sugars to fuels and chemicals. Removing these inhibitors is a challenging process separations problem due to the chemical complexity of the mixtures, the extremely low pH, and the high temperature. Cerahelix is developing a nanofiltration membrane, the helix Ti-NFM that can separate complex mixtures at low pH and high temperatures. The unique nanoscale features of this product enable it to perform faster, use less energy, and require little to no manipulation of the solution chemistry as compared to competing technologies. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The benefits of the helix Ti-NFM are that it is a clean technology, it promotes renewable energy, and it reduces the production of greenhouse gases. Because it is made from a chemically resistant material, it can operate at extremes of pH and temperature, and it has the potential to be self-cleaning. This product can be applied to a range of industries beyond biofuels including industrial water recycling and re-use, as well as produced water purification.