The hybrid distillation-pervaporation process is an efficient method for the removal or recovery of volatile organic compounds from their aqueous mixtures. The hybrid distillation-pervaporation process has not only shown its excellent performance in the purification of solvent mixtures but also proven to have a potential of saving energy. In this study, the hybrid distillation-pervaporation process is optimized for the treatment of low-alcohol waste solvents. Three combinations are examined: distillation with hydrophilic pervaporation, distillation with organophilic pervaporation and distillation with both pervaporation methods. The hybrid systems result in a better performance in term of energy-use compared to conventional distillation. It is observed that a combination of distillation and hydrophilic or/and organophilic pervaporation is suitable for the separation of ethanol-water mixtures and the most recommended is the third layout.
Keywords: hybrid distillation-pervaporation process, pervaporation, ethanol-water separation, azeo