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 Efficient technologies for the chemicals industry  

Separation: Distillation, Concentration, Purification and Regeneration

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Mechanical vapor compression (MVC)

Potential benefits

  • +Suitable for concentrating solutions or separating liquid mixtures
  • +Highly efficient: Coefficient of performance (COP) ranging from 5 to 80 (1 kWh of electricity can produce the equivalent of 3 to 80 kWh of thermal energy)

Membrane filtration

Potential benefits

  • +Suitable for separating the components of a compound according to weight, molecular size or chemical affinity
  • +Easy to control
  • +High energy efficiency
  • +Compact, modular equipment

Electrolysis

Applications

  • Production of hydrogen by electrolysis of water
  • Production of chlorine
  • Electrogalvanization
  • Suitable for in-plant manufacturing of value-added products such as chemical reagents
  • Transformation of ionic charges of wastes streams into value-added products

Potential benefits

  • +Fewer steps involved
  • +High ion-concentration capacity
  • +Can be used to make high-purity products
  • +High energy yield
  • +Particularly suitable for electrochemical reactions
  • +Rate and/or degree of oxidation or reduction of a compound can be increased or decreased as needed

Electrodialysis

Applications

  • Extraction of sufficiently ionized ions from a solution
    • Production of drinking water from seawater
    • Demineralization of whey, deacidification of fruit juice, purification of amino acids
  • Manufacturing of value-added products
  • Transformation of ionic charges of wastes into value-added products

Potential benefits

  • +Fewer steps involved
  • +Can be used to make high-purity products
  • +High energy yield (draws less power than electrolysis)
  • +Particularly suitable for separation of ionic solutions, but can also be used for various chemical reactions

Electroflotation

Potential benefits

  • +Suitable for separating out solid-liquid and liquid-liquid phases
  • +Sludge can be recycled
  • +Extremely fine particles can be removed
  • +Modular equipment
  • +Easy to control

Find out more

Mechanical vapor compression (MVC) is a technology particularly well suited to evaporation processes. It can recover the heat in steam and use it as a heat source for the purposes of evaporation. For more information, see Section 4.3 of the page New Energy Efficient Technologies That Are Applicable to Manufacturing Processes on the Natural Resources Canada Web site.

Membrane filtration is used to remove particles that are too fine for ordinary filtration techniques. It can also be used for concentrating, fractionating, purifying and regenerating liquids, replacing traditional methods of separation by evaporation and centrifugation. For more information, see Section 4.1 of the page New Energy Efficient Technologies That Are Applicable to Manufacturing Processes on the Natural Resources Canada Web site.

Electrolysis is a process whereby electrical energy is converted into chemical energy. The difference in electrical potential between two electrodes immersed in a solution to be treated constitutes the basic principle of electrolysis. In the chemical industry, electrolysis is used to separate elements or synthesize compounds.

Applications

  • Production of hydrogen by electrolysis of water
  • Production of chlorine
  • Electrogalvanizing

Electrodialysis is a technique that consists in extracting sufficiently ionized ions from a solution. It can use less power than electrolysis, but requires a greater surface area and does not concentrate the ions to the same extent.

Applications

  • Production of drinking water from seawater
  • Demineralization of whey, deacidification of fruit juice, purification of amino acids

See also