Hitachi Zosen Membrane Increases Ethanol Efficiency

Joanna Schroeder

Greenbelt Resources Corporation, under its subsidiary Diversified Ethanol Corporation, has announced the selection of Hitachi Zosen Corporation as a collaborator on its ethanol dehydration module. Greenbelt has successfully integrated the zeolite ceramic membrane innovation from Hitachi Zosen to achieve a higher purity ethanol through a more efficient extraction of residual moisture. After a global search, Greenbelt said it chose the ceramic membrane from Hitachi Zosen for its durability, easy-to-maintain seal-less structure and high reliability.

greenbelt“As we accelerate our efforts to establish overseas partners and expand the use of our technology, the addition of our zeolite ceramic membrane to the Greenbelt solution is a first for our company in the growing U.S. ethanol marketplace,” said Dr. Masanobu Aizawa, General Manager of Research and Development Strategy Department at Hitachi Zosen. “Greenbelt has the most extensive knowledge of using membrane technology in the ethanol dehydration process in the U.S. and our collaboration is ideal for us to leverage our innovations and add value that is useful to our global society.”

Hitachi Zosen will be providing the Greenbelt design team with a deep understanding of the membrane structure and their process design criteria. Through their partnership, Hitachi Zosen aided Greenbelt in the invention of a module to house the membranes, as well as helped them develop an overall system design that both achieves target ethanol standards and is simple and highly efficient. The simplicity and efficiency of the Greenbelt dehydration module enables membrane technology to become a contending alternative to molecular sieves traditionally used to dehydrate ethanol.

“In addition to the level of excellence in the simple yet durable design of their membrane technology, we are extremely impressed with the customer service from Hitachi Zosen,” said Darren Eng, CEO of Greenbelt Resources Corporation. “This is a winning combination of global expertise and the entrepreneurial approach by a U.S. upstart to deliver a truly economically sound and energy-efficient solution to the production of viable commercial ethanol for local market communities around the world.”

Hitachi Zosen has operated a zeolite membrane like the one used by Greenbelt in continuous commercial service since March, 2009. In addition to technical support, Hitachi Zosen conducted hands on training for membrane installations and participated with Greenbelt in system stress and performance testing.

biofuels, Ethanol