Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
Dr. D. Keith Roper
The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that ca. 40% of the total energy consumed in the chemical and refining industries is used for distillation.1 One potentially energy efficient alternative is pervaporation, a membrane separation process that uses differences in solvent permeability and vaporization rates to encourage mixture separation. Pervaporation has become a valuable tool in the processes of producing biofuels, recovering water, and removing solvent.2,3 However, implementation has been hindered by heating the feed to the membrane and cooling the unpermeated retentate to increase membrane throughput at a higher energy cost. Preliminary research has shown that locally heating the membrane through plasmonic heating has the potential to reduce energy consumption drastically and promote the implementation of pervaporation.4
Austin, Ty, "Plasmonic Pervaporation for Sustainable Mixture Separation" (2016). Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Honors Theses. 95.