Results and Discussion 3731 Sorption results

Sorption experiments were carried out for the mixtures of MTBE/water with the concentration 4 - 8 MTBE vol% at room temperature. Figure 37.2 is a plot of degree of sorption versus MTBE concentration in the mixtures (x: volume fraction), representing the concentration dependence of the sorption characteristics of membranes.

Fig. 37.2 Concentration effect on sorption in the mixtures of MTBE/water for PEBA 2533 at room temperature.

According to sorption results, MTBE sorption was much higher than water. This is due to the hydrophobic structure of the membrane material. For all concen tration ranges, sorption values increase as the MTBE content in the mixture increases. From these results, it can be concluded that the polymers have higher affinity for MTBE than water. Decreasing sorption ability results in a decreasing penetration concentration in the membranes and consequently will result in a decreasing permeation rate of sorption values at low levels. This means pervapora-tion flux will be at low levels also. The relationships between the composition of feed mixture (x) and the composition of sorbed liquid in the membrane (z) and the composition of pervaporate in permeate (y) as MTBE vol% fraction for the membrane are given in Fig. 37.3.

From these figures it is observed that sorption values are very near to per-vaporation values and they have the same tendency. Both (y and z) values are at high levels. This means pervaporation selectivity (separation factors) will be at high levels also.

Sorption results show that MTBE/water mixture can be separated by per-vaporation using PEBA 2533 membranes prepared.

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