A process for treating liquids containing organic compounds and water. The process includes a pervaporation step in conjunction with a dephlegmation step to treat at least a portion of the permeate vapor from the pervaporation step. The process yields a membrane residue stream, a stream enriched in the more volatile component (usually the organic) as the overhead stream from the dephlegmator and a condensate stream enriched in the less volatile component (usually the water) as a bottoms stream from the dephlegmator. Any of these may be the principal product of the process. The membrane separation step may also be performed in the vapor phase, or by membrane distillation.
This invention was made in part with Government support under SBIR awards numbers DE-FG03-98ER82616, awarded by the Department of Energy, and NSF-DMI-0128695 awarded by the National Science Foundation, and in part under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Membrane Technology and Research, Inc. The Government has certain rights in this invention.