USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

Acetic Acid Recovery Using Membranes

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / 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: 2009
Title: Acetic Acid Recovery Using Membranes
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-09ER85492
Award Amount: $99,996.00


The recovery of acetic acid from dilute aqueous streams is an important industrial separation that is both high cost and energy intensive when performed by conventional distillation technology. A need exists for more efficient, lower cost, simpler technology, such as membrane technology. However, the required separation performance, combined with the need for robust chemical and thermal stability of the membrane materials, makes the use of membrane technology for acetic acid recovery very challenging. In this project, perfluorinated polymer membranes will be used to separate the compressed acetic acid from the water vapor in a conventional distillation column. In Phase I, the perfluoropolymer membranes will be optimized, and bench-scale membrane modules will be used to separate water from hot aqueous acetic acid solutions. The data obtained will be used in a process simulation to determine the technical performance and economic feasibility of the proposed distillation-membrane process. In Phase II, a pilot system will be constructed to evaluate the performance of industrial-scale membrane modules, and a field test will be carried out using the pilot system. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: If successful, the technology will allow acetic acid to be recovered from many aqueous process streams currently discharged or destroyed. The membrane-distillation process should lower energy costs by more than 60% compared to use of conventional distillation alone. Longer term, a successful distillation-membrane technology could be applied to commercial separations of other similar dilute aqueous streams

Principal Investigator:

Yu (Ivy) Huang

Business Contact:

Elizabeth Weiss
Small Business Information at Submission:

Membrane Technology And Research, Inc.
1360 Willow Road Suite 103 Menlo Park, CA 94025

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