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Thin film pervaporation membrane

The Thin Film Pervaporation Membrane is an innovative membrane enabling improved performance in separating organics from aqueous streams.

Organophilic pervaporation (OPV) is a promising separation technique for separating organic components from aqueous  mixtures, involving the use of non-porous polymeric membranes. The reference material used is PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane).

Since the number of available OPV membranes which combine a high selectivity with an elevated flux is restricted, OPV did not have an industrially scaled breakthrough so far, despite its clear environmental and economical advantages and its great application potential.

VITO solution

VITO developed an OPV membrane which combines a high selectivity with elevated fluxes, and moreover shows long term stability, using new membrane materials and an advanced nano-design.

VITO’s Thin Film Pervaporation Membrane comprises a porous support layer upon which a thin coating or film is applied. This non-porous coating is only a few microns thick and consists of a glassy, super-hydrophobic substituted polyacetylene polymer such as PTMSP, filled with inorganic nanoparticles such as silica. The  innovative strenghth of the Thin Film Pervaporation Membrane is the “mixed matrix” design of the nanoparticle-filled top layer, which enhances the performance by creating preferential pathways for transport through the membrane.


  • Thin PTMSP layer coated on porous polymeric support membrane
  • Incorporation of inorganic nanofilller (e.g. silica, metal oxides)


  • High selectivity;
  • High flux;
  • Long term stability.


  • Removal/recovery of (valuable) organics (e.g solvents) from dilute aqueous streams (e.g. waste/side streams);
  • Meet maximum discharge level requirements;
  • Concentrating aromas/fragrances from natural extracts.


  • Biorefineries;
  • Food & beverages;
  • Fragrances;
  • Bulk chemistry;
  • Pharmaceuticals;
  • Waste water treatment.

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