Acetone butanol ethanol (ABE) recovery by pervaporation using silicalite-silicone composite membrane from fed-batch reactor of Clostridium acetobutylicum

N. Qureshi, M. M. Meagher, Jicai Huang, R. W. Hutkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

185 Scopus citations


Acetone butanol ethanol (ABE) were produced in an integrated fermentation-product recovery system using Clostridium acetobutylicum (C. acetobutylicum) and a silicalite-silicone composite membrane. Cells of C. acetobutylicum were removed from the cell culture using a 500,000 molecular weight cut-off ultrafiltration membrane and returned to the fed-batch fermentor. The ABE was removed from the ultrafiltration permeate using a silicalite-silicone composite pervaporation membrane. The silicalite-silicone composite membrane (306μm thick) was made in our laboratory and characterized for flux and selectivities using model acetone ethanol butanol solution. Flux of the silicalite-silicone composite membrane was constant during pervaporation of fermentation broth at the same concentration of ABE. Acetone butanol selectivity was also not affected by the fermentation broth, indicating that the membrane was not fouled by the ABE fermentation broth. The silicalite-silicone composite membrane was exposed to fermentation broth for 120h. Acetic acid and ethanol did not diffuse through the silicalite-silicone composite membrane at low concentrations. The fed-batch reactor was operated for 870h. Totally 154.97g/l solvents was produced at solvent yield of 0.31-0.35.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-102
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2001



  • Acetone butanol ethanol fermentation
  • Clostridium acetobutylicum
  • Pervaporation.
  • Silicalite-silicone composite membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation

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