Evonik and Sinopec partner on OSN

Article by Adam Duckett

EVONIK and the SINOPEC Beijing Research Institute of the Chemical Industry (BRICI) have agreed to build a process development laboratory for organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN) membrane technology.

OSN membranes offer energy-saving applications

The laboratory will focus on the petrochemical industry to open up markets for OSN applications across Asia. Evonik already sells OSN membranes, a new separations technology, that has the benefit of lowering operating costs.

“Evonik will contribute advanced technology, which SINOPEC will make accessible to various business stages. With Evonik’s support, we will also build up a pilot plant unit in one of Sinopec’s production sites as an OSN reference plant,” said Li Hongbo, president of BRICI’s Yanshan Branch.

OSN is a relatively new membrane technology with the first commercial applications made around 1990. Membrane separations had almost exclusively been used in wastewater treatment, desalination and the food and drinks industries. OSN, however, offers separation of molecules dissolved in organic liquids, opening up applications in petrochemicals, fine chemicals and drugs production, competing with traditional, more energy-intensive separations techniques including distillation.

New opportunities include the recovery of homogenous catalysts from organic solvents; solute purification and enrichment, including active pharmaceutical ingredients; and membrane assisted crystallisation.

Article by Adam Duckett

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