Final Report from IETS Annex XVII – Membrane filtration for energy-efficient separation of lignocellulosic biomass components

This is the final report from the first phase of this Annex, including the following conclusions and recommendations from the project participants, lead by professor Ann-Sofi Jönsson of Lund University, Sweden:

Some recommendations for people who intend to use membrane processes in biorefinery applications:

  • Evaluate the performance of a number of membranes on lab scale before moving to pilot trials.
  • Develop an appropriate cleaning protocol for every new application.
  • Ensure that there are sufficient amounts of high quality water available for cleaning during the pilot trials.

The Annex XVII work succeeded in creating an initial co-operation platform between IETS members interested in membrane filtration for energy-efficient separation of lignocellulosic biomass components. However, until now, this co-operation has been limited to 5 of the current 10 IETS member countries and thus one of the main aims for the future should be to integrate further IETS members in the Annex work. In due of the dissemination process it was realised that the focus of the Annex on lignocellulosic biomass alone is too restrictive and challenges and potentials of membrane processes in many other biorefinery concepts using other raw materials are of similar nature. Thus, a more general scope of the Annex covering “Membranes processes in biorefineries” should be considered. Another aspect discovered during the dissemination process was that some aspects of the current Annex require further in-depth investigations and other key aspects have so far been excluded from the Annex work. To overcome this an extension of the current Annex with an adjusted structure will be proposed.