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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/R57188/01
Title: Membrane Aromatic Recovery System (MARS) - A Novel Process for Recovery of Aromatic Molecules from Waste Streams
Principal Investigator: Livingston, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Steinke, Dr JHG
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
AH Marks and Co Ltd Avecia Mallinckrodt Speciality Chemicals Ltd
Membrane Extraction Technology Ltd Nipa Laboratories Ltd
Department: Department of Chemical Engineering
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 November 2001 Ends: 31 October 2004 Value (£): 192,456
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Separation Processes Waste Minimisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Water Environment
Related Grants:
GR/R57171/02
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
A novel membrane process (MARS) has been invented for recovering aromatic acids and bases (AAB) from aqueous streams. It uses a nonporous membrane layer to separate a wastewater from a stripping solution. AAB diffuse across the membrane into the stripping solution, where they are concentrated and the recovered by pH shift. The process has been shown in preliminary work to be feasible and to have excellent potential, but has not yet been investigated or improved through dedicated research. The proposed project aims to understand basic transport processes in the MARS process, and to use this understanding to construct a process performance model suitable for use in optimisation. The suitablity of exisiting membranes for use in the process will be determined. It aims to develop new, chemically resistant membranes tailored for use in the process, both by attempting to form asymmetric PVDF tubes with a very thin nonporous separating layer and engineered hydrophobicity, and by producing microporous PVDF tubes which can be used as support fibres for composite membranes. A class of promising new materials, as well as exsiting polymers, will be used to form nonporous separating layers on these PVDF support fibres. The project will work primarily with model synthetic wastes but actual industrial wastes will be trialled with the novel membranes created by the project - these wastes will be provided by the consortium of companies who are providing support for the project, both in-kind and in cash.
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk