Greenbelt Resources Corporation today announced patent protection filing for its proprietary ethanol-water separation membrane module technology on behalf of its subsidiary Diversified Ethanol Corporation. The patent-pending system utilizes the Hitachi-Zosen membrane known for purifying a number of liquids and gases including ethanol and other organic solvents.
The proprietary solution for separating water from ethanol developed to improve the efficiency of ethanol dehydration will also reduce the overall cost to construct and service a system in contrast to alternative designs that require a custom build approach. Instead of combining a large number of membranes into one large vessel, the new innovation from Diversified Ethanol uses a series of repeating smaller vessels, each with fewer membranes that together form a single, higher capacity module. The patent-pending module design utilizes multiple off-the-shelf parts.
“Our goal has always been to apply innovative thinking and engineering to the ethanol production process as a means of providing a lower cost fuel alternative that helps our economy become more self-sufficient and less reliant on foreign oil,” said Floyd Butterfield, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Diversified Ethanol Corporation. “Not only does our approach enable more energy-efficient separation of water, it sets the stage for us to apply our membrane module technology to other separations that offer additional energy-saving and economic benefits to our products and the community.”
Greenbelt Resources and Diversified Ethanol incorporated the unique membrane system into the plant design for the Stan Mayfield Bio Refinery Pilot Plant at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences laboratory at the Buckeye Technology facility in Taylor County, Florida.