Two distinct techniques of membrane crystallization are under study in the lab, namely membrane distillation-crystallization and membrane-assisted anti-solvent crystallization (MAAC). Membrane distillation-crystallization takes advantage of the membrane that can allow a non-dispersive contact between two streams, which leads to the progressive distillation of the feed stream and eventually provokes crystallization of the salt. Different configurations are investigated: osmotic, direct contact and vacuum membrane distillation-crystallization.
As for MAAC, it consists of the control of antisolvent mass transfer through the membrane pores to the crystallizing solution resulting in specific crystal properties such as crystal shape/ morphology, crystallinity, polymorphism, etc., plus a narrow crystal size distribution which is desirable particularly in the production of pharmaceutical or agrochemical products. Studies in this area cover the impact of the operating conditions (flow rate, temperature, pressure, solution composition, etc.) and the membrane properties (porosity, thickness, hydrophobicity, etc.).
Researchers: Sara Chergaoui and Marie-Charlotte Sparenberg