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Membrane Reactors

  1. Enrico Drioli1,
  2. Enrica Fontananova2

Published Online: 15 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/14356007.d16_d01.pub2

Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry

Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry

How to Cite

Drioli, E. and Fontananova, E. 2010. Membrane Reactors. Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Calabria, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials, Rende (CS), Italy

  2. 2

    Institute on Membrane Technology of the National Research Council (ITM-CNR), c/o University of Calabria, Rende (CS), Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2010

Chemistry Terms

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Membrane reactors (MRs) are systems in which a membrane separation process is combined with a chemical (catalytic) reaction. Because there are different ways to combine a catalyst with a membrane in order to have a synergic effect on the entire process, there are numerous possible categorizations of these systems. Some useful classifications are presented to highlight the advantages and still-existing limitations of MRs in comparison with traditional reactors. Classification can be based on the role of the membrane in the catalytic process (catalytically active or providing only a separation function), the type of transport through the membrane (extractor-, distributor-, and contactor-type MRs), the natures of the membrane material (organic or inorganic) and catalyst (artificial or biological). Applications of MRs in high-temperature reactions using inorganic membranes and in low-temperature MRs using polymer membranes are presented, as well as large-scale applications in membrane bioreactors for wastewater treatment.

2.Extractor-, Distributor-, and Contactor-Type Membrane Reactors
3.Organic and Inorganic Membrane Reactors
4.Biocatalytic Membrane Reactors
5.Catalytically Active and Catalytically Inert Membranes