Exploring the potential and design of zeolite nanosheets as pervaporation membranes for ethanol extraction†
Molecular dynamics simulations are employed to demonstrate the potential of zeolite nanosheets as pervaporation membranes for ethanol extraction. Our results show that zeolite nanosheets can provide orders of magnitude higher fluxes compared to currently available membranes and achieve outstanding separation factors. The dominant role of membrane surfaces in determining the separation performance is also identified and explored at an atomic level. Developing nanosheet membranes with hydrophobic surfaces and/or with a minimal surface silanol density represents the keys to enable highly selective separation processes.