USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

A Novel, Low-Energy Stripper-Membrane Hybrid Process for Bioethanol Production

Award Information

Department of Agriculture
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2007 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Membrane Technology and Research, Inc.
39630 Eureka Drive Newark, CA 94560
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2007
Title: A Novel, Low-Energy Stripper-Membrane Hybrid Process for Bioethanol Production
Agency: USDA
Contract: 2007-33610-17987
Award Amount: $79,998.00


"Demand for ethanol as a gasoline supplement is surging. Just over 100 U.S.corn-toethanol plants are currently operating, with almost 40 new plants slated for completion in the coming year. By 2012, 250 bioethanol plants are expected to be installed. The current fermentation-distillation-molecular sieve process for ethanol production uses up to 20% of the energy content of the ethanol separated. Therefore, development of a lower-energy ethanol separation process is of considerable interest to bioethanol plant operators. This proposal describes a novel hybrid stripper-membrane separation process that could lower energy consumption of ethanol production by 45%. Achieving this goal requires the development of membranes with high water permeance that can remove water from ethanol solutions containing 50 wt% water at 100-130°C. Current water-selective membranes cannot be used with ethanol solutions containing more than 15 wt% water because of hydrolytic stability issues and excessive swelling. We have had preliminary success in developing the required membranes. Availability of these membranes would make radical changes to bioethanol separation flow schemes possible The objective of this program is to demonstrate membrane performance under simulated operating conditions, determine process feasibility, and set targets for pilot-scale development in a Phase II project."

Principal Investigator:

Yu Huang

Business Contact:

Elizabeth Weiss
Government Contracts/Grants Mgr.
Small Business Information at Submission:

Membrane Technology and Research, Inc.
1360 Willow Road, #103 Menlo Park, CA 94025

EIN/Tax ID: 942795892
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No