skip to main content


Title: Surface-Enhanced Separation of Water from Hydrocarbons: Potential Dewatering Membranes for the Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis of Pine Biomass

The impact of surface-selective coatings on water permeation through a membrane when exposed to catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP) vapor products was studied by tailoring the surface properties of the membrane coating from superhydrophilic to superhydrophobic. Our approach utilized high-performance architectured surface-selective (HiPAS) membranes that were inserted after a CFP reactor. At this insertion point, the inner wall surface of a tubular membrane was exposed to a mixture of water and upgraded product vapors, including light gases and deoxygenated hydrocarbons. Under proper membrane operating conditions, a high selectivity for water over 1-ring upgraded biomass pyrolysis hydrocarbons was observed due to a surface-enhanced capillary condensation process. Owing to this surface-enhanced effect, HiPAS membranes have the potential to enable high flux separations suggesting that water can be selectively removed from the CFP product vapors.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  2. ORNL
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy and Fuels
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 30; Journal ID: ISSN 0887-0624
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: