Challenges of Membrane Technology in Biorefineries


  • Lukka Thuyavan Yogarathinam Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • Ahmad Fauzi Ismail Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • Pei Sean Goh Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • Arthanareeswaran Gangasalam Membrane Research Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli 620 015, India



Membrane separation processes have been deployed for downstream applications in biorefineries. This article discusses the challenges of membrane technology in purification of biofuels such as bioethanol, biodiesel and biogas. The significance of membrane technology are discussed towards the fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass for biofuel production.  The membrane reactors for biodiesel production were also studied. Limitation with respect to each individual processes on biofuel purification were also reported. The major limitation in membrane separation are membrane fouling and concentration polarization. Membrane engineering and process optimization are the viable tools to enhance the performance of membrane. Recently, inorganic nanofillers has significant control in alteration of polymeric membrane characteristics for the improvement of permeability and selectivity. This article would be an insight for researchers to understand the challenges of biorefinery membrane separation.


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How to Cite

Yogarathinam, L. T., Ismail, A. F., Goh, P. S., & Gangasalam, A. (2020). Challenges of Membrane Technology in Biorefineries. Journal of Applied Membrane Science &Amp; Technology, 24(3).