Annex XVII: Membrane filtration for energy-efficient separation of lignocellulosic biomass components


Distillation is the unit operation that dominates the separation scheme in petroleum refineries as most compounds are volatile. In contrast to petroleum compounds, most compounds derived from biomass are non-volatile. Especially size, and to some extent charge, are the main separation characteristics of extracted biomass compounds, which make membrane processes a natural key separation technique in biorefineries.

Development of new biorefinery processes is often carried out by persons with deep knowledge about biotechnology but no, or only limited, experience of membrane processes. In order to optimize energy-efficiency and fractionation ability of membrane processes in biorefineries co-operation between experts on membrane processes and biotechnology is needed. The aim of the Annex is to be a bridge between these groups and by active networking build strong clusters for future work in this area.

The first phase of this Annex was finished in 2017 and the final report is published, see below. A new Task, including six subtask, started in January 2018.

Description of Annex

The objective of the Annex is the development of sustainable and energy-efficient separation methods enabling utilization of renewable resources for production of chemicals, materials and energy by:

  • Creation of a network of experts involved in projects with the aim of recovering value-added components in biomass.
  • Bringing together and sharing information on the present state of sustainable and energy-efficient separation methods to be used in biorefineries.
  • Creation of guidelines for design and optimization of membrane processes in biorefineries.
  • Survay of fouling and cleaning of membranes in biorefineries.

Four tasks are outlined in Annex XVII:

  1. Recovery of biomass components
  2. Sustainable and energy-efficient separation methods in biorefiineries
  3. Design and optimization of membrane processes in biorefinieries
  4. Fouling and cleaning of membranes in biorefineries 


Final Report 2017

Contact Details

Professor This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Department of Chemical Engineering, Lund University, Sweden.

Frank Lipnizki