Faculty Advisor

Thompson, Robert W.


The need for cheap and renewable energy has led to research into developing new technologies. While fossil fuel as an energy source is not leaving overnight, the transitional movement to alternative fuels has begun. Ethanol is one fuel that will likely play a leading role as a future energy source. However, great production energy requirements presently exist with the separation of ethanol from water, limiting overall energy output and emissions reductions. Membrane separation was studied using macroporous hydrophobic polymers in thin film discs. It was witnessed, despite zero mass flux with pure water feed, that this separation method offers no selectivity in alcohol-water mixtures. In addition, an investigation was made to simulate the phase existence within the pores.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2010


Chemical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Chemical Engineering