Separation of Selected Organic Solvent Mixtures by Reverse Osmosis/Nanofiltration Membranes


Separation of Selected Organic Solvent Mixtures by Reverse Osmosis/Nanofiltration Membranes

NJIT Case No. 18-001


Inventors: Kamalesh Sirkar, John Chau, Pritish Basak 


Intellectual Property & Development status: Patent Protection is pending.

NJIT is currently seeking commercial partners for the further development and commercialization of this opportunity.


A paper has been published. Journal of Membrane Science 563 (2018) 541–551


Technology Brief :  Researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology in the Department of Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering have invented a novel method for separation of an organic solvent such as toluene from various polar aprotic organic solvents.


In chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industry, often one has to separate organic solvent mixtures which contain larger polar aprotic solvents such as NMP, DMSO, DMF,

DMAc etc. mixed with other organic solvents which are aromatic, aliphatic hydrocarbons, alcohols etc. Typical examples of the latter are toluene, heptane, hexane, octane, ethanol,

methanol, ethyl acetate etc. Present invention apply pressure on a feed solvent mixture containing various combinations of these solvents and get one of the solvents to permeate through a nanofiltration or reverse osmosis membrane selectively in preference to the other solvent. This process will avoid thermally-based process of distillation especially if thermally unstable compounds are present in the system; that is certainly true if the compounds are active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Also distillation is quite energy intensive; a membrane process would require a very small device, require much less energy and be simple to operate.



•       Pharmaceuticals

•       Chemical industries



•       Simple

•       Inexpensive

•       Can accommodate APIs

•       Easy Scaling up


Inventors Bio:

Kamalesh Sirkar has been in the faculty of Stevens Institute of Technology and NJIT doing research on membrane separations, membrane transport, membrane fabrication and membrane-based separation-reaction applications for the last 37 years; he has been at NJIT since 1992. He is a Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and has been the Sponsored Chair for Membrane Separations and Biotechnology and the Foundation Professor of Membrane Separations. He has published more than 196 refereed journal articles and has received 31 US patents and 3 Canada patents. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering. He pioneered membrane contactor processes: the already-commercialized membrane solvent extraction technology; the contained liquid membrane technology. His hollow fiber membrane distillation technology has also been licensed out. The two current technologies of interest utilize two recent patents granted to him on hollow fiber membrane-based crystallization techniques (US Patents, 7,754,083 and 7,811,381). 



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Simon Nynens
VP, Business Incubation
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Kamalesh Sirkar
John Chau
Prithish Basak
Patent Pending
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