The CUMERI  endeavor project

Explore the potential of customized membrane systems to transform industrial processes and reduce carbon emissions

Membrane Separation: Basics

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Objectives

Objective #1

Develop enhanced membranes for outstanding gas separation performances

CUMERI partners target as a first separation line gas separation of complex mixes. Two platform membrane technologies will be finetuned for this: on the one hand, nano- and microporous SiC/SiCN membranes on oxide free ceramic supports and intermediate layers will be finetuned for H2 permeance (mainly in H2 and CH4-containing mixes) for reaching high gas separation performance and better stability.

On the other hand, polymer membranes using 100 % biobased polyether-block-amide (PEBA) copolymers will be specially designed for CO2 permeance (from N2 mainly), to give high processability into monolithic hollow fibre membranes by non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS), high gas separation performance, high resistance to chemical attack (aging) while maintaining the outstanding gas permeation properties of the reference bio-Pebax (Pebax® Rnew® 30R51SA01).

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Objective #2

Develop finetuned ceramic membranes for used lubricant oil (ULO) and additives recycling

CUMERI partners target as a second line the energy-lean recovery of base oil and additives from ULO, using a twostep process (UF followed by ME). To this end, partners will develop tailored grafted ceramic membranes, with high membrane fluxes/rates. These membranes are aiming for an efficient two-step process, targeting a base oil recovery > 70% and additive recovery > 30%. The recovered base oil is expected to be of high quality (i.e. at least class II quality). Partners target a robust process, with cleaning-in-place frequency for UF membranes of once per month, and membrane lifetime of more than 3 years.

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Objective #3

Demonstrate the performance of the membrane systems for a more resilient and greener industry

Demonstrations at two industrial facilities will be conducted in CUMERI: gas separation in the steel industry, proposing a comprehensive approach through the recovery of H2, as well as the capture of CO2; UF + ME in the Oil &Gas industry for the recovery of base oil and additives from ULO. All pilots will be mobile and skid-mounted and/or containerised for easy by-pass connection to the industrial facilities. The membranes will be upscaled for the demonstration.

The use of such membrane systems will contribute to green the targeted industrial sectors, while at the same time encouraging their resilience. This will be achieved as CUMERI membrane systems will allow the recovery and reuse of valuable components, better energy and resource efficiency and avoidance of release of undesirable compounds.

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Objective #4

Develop advanced modelling and simulation to provide guidance for the selection of membrane systems

Modelling activities will provide guidance for the development of all customised membranes and membrane systems with improved performances. To this end, several tools will be employed: computational fluid dynamics for all membrane systems, Hansen solubility parameters assessing membrane-solute-solvent interactions in UF/ME, and allowing to steer the choice for the optimal grafting on the ceramic supports and a counter-current multi-stage extraction process including rigorous mass-transfer models for the additives to be extracted in the ME process.

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Objective #5

Ensure the sustainability of the demonstrated membrane systems (including end-of-life considerations)

CUMERI membrane systems are expected to contribute to greening the industry. CUMERI partners will ensure the sustainability of the membrane systems themselves, by further contributing to considerable energy savings, considering as a priority biobased feedstock materials and designing materials and membranes that can be easily regenerated/recycled, bridging end-of-life issues. The full sustainability (i.e. economic, environmental and social) of the new systems will be ensured by performing a techno-economic analysis (TEA), life cycle analysis (LCA) and societal LCA (S-LCA).

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Objective #6

Ensure maximum exploitation of CUMERI results for wide and rapid market penetration

Partners will ensure maximum exploitation of CUMERI results. This will allow partners to fully exploit the market potential of each platform membrane technology, and to pave the way for their industrialisation. In particular, realistic business cases and exploitation strategies will be drafted, detailing the remaining technological and non-technological gaps to be addressed after the end of CUMERI, as well as strategies for overcoming barriers towards wide uptake of the technologies.

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Concept

CUMERI concept

During CUMERI, three types of membranes to recover valuable components in targeted industries will be developed and demonstrated. These membranes will enable improved energy efficiency at industrial facilities, and thus a more resilient and greener industry.

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Toward a more resilient and greener industry
Gas Seperation

H2 recovery and CO2 capture in the steel industy

Ultrafiltration + Membrane extraction

Base oil and additives recovery in the oil and gas industry

SiC/SiCN
Membrane

PEBA-Polymer
Membrane

Pilot for TRL7
demontration
at two industrial
facilities

Grafting
technology

Ceramic
support

Grafted ceramic
membrane

Modelling toolbox

Sustainabilty anlysis

Business cases and exploitation Strategy for industrialisation

* The Five Axes of CUMERI Concept

Membranes for gas separation: SiC/SiCN and PEBA-Polymer membranes

#1

Membranes for ultrafiltration + Membrane extraction: grafted ceramic membranes

#2

Modelling: use of modelling tools to guide experimentalists in the development of grafted ceramic membranes for UF and ME

#3

Sustainability and end-of-life: Best practices for making the membranes recyclable and for recycling each membrane

#4

Market uptake

#5

Expected Impact

Next-Generation Membrane Materials for Greener Industry

These innovative materials will offer smart solutions for reducing the environmental footprint of industrial plants and promoting sustainable practices.

Advanced Membrane Materials to Support Zero Pollution

These materials will help to recycle waste streams from industrial plants, contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable environment.

Better Membrane Materials for Enhanced Performance

These superior materials will provide outstanding separation performance and enhanced chemical, mechanical, or thermal stability compared to commercial materials.

New-Generation Membranes for Significant Energy Savings

The application of these advanced membranes will lead to significant energy savings, reducing energy consumption by up to 10%.

Circular Membrane Systems for Sustainable Industry

These versatile membranes will enable cross-sectorial circularity, promoting a closed-loop system for membrane use and reuse across different industrial sectors, reducing waste and promoting sustainability.