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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Previous projects > Energy > New membranes and processes for separating alcohol/ether/hydrocarbon mixtures
Graphic element New membranes and processes for separating alcohol/ether/hydrocarbon mixtures
In line with environmental regulations, ethers are replacing lead in petrol. New ether separating membranes have been developed.

Increasing concern about the environment and the subsequent emergence of more stringent European regulations on automobile exhaust have led to progressive changes in petrol composition in recent years. Lead additives which have traditionally been used to increase octane are gradually being replaced by oxygenated compounds, especially ethers (MTBE, ETBE and TAME). But the traditional separation processes used for MTBE and ETBE synthesis are quite complex and very expensive.

This Brite Euram project has developed highly selective and highly permeable membranes for the production of MTBE and ETBE. The new membranes allow selective removal of alcohols (methanol, ethanol) from organic mixtures. In addition, new methods were developed which will bring not only substantial savings but also increased flexibility within the refining process.

European support has been key, say the industrial and academic partners who are now moving on to the industrial development phase.

Cordis RCN: 3747
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