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Membrane Processes

  1. Anne Jonquières,
  2. Carole Arnal-Herault,
  3. Jérôme Babin

Published Online: 27 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118522318.emst092

Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and Technology

Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and Technology

How to Cite

Jonquières, A., Arnal-Herault, C. and Babin, J. 2013. Pervaporation. Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and Technology. 1–28.

Author Information

  1. Université de Lorraine, Nancy, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 SEP 2013


With more than 250 plants in operation worldwide, pervaporation is now a mature membrane process for the separation of liquid mixtures. In a first part, this review describes the general principles of pervaporation and its main advantages compared to other common separation techniques such as distillation. The influence of operating conditions (e.g., feed flow rate, temperature, and pressure) is discussed and an introduction on mass-transfer modeling in pervaporation is included.

The different types of pervaporation separations are reviewed for organic solvent dehydration, extraction of volatile organic compounds from water, and purely organic mixture separation. A focus is then placed on commercial pervaporation membranes and examples for key industrial applications of this technology. Although alcohol dehydration remains the first industrial application of pervaporation, important breakthroughs have recently been made for separating purely organic mixtures in the fine chemistry and petrochemical industries. Finally, the challenges and future prospects of pervaporation are pointed out. By offering cost-effective alternatives to other separation processes and important energy savings, pervaporation is a sustainable membrane process that is currently finding new opportunities driven by major developments in the petrochemical and biorefinery industries.


  • pervaporation;
  • membranes;
  • separation;
  • liquid mixtures;
  • hybrid membrane processes;
  • industrial applications;
  • energy savings;
  • sustainability