Bipolar membrane electrodialysis for the alkalinization of ethanolamine salts

M.T. de Groot, R.M. de Rooij, A.A.C.M. Bos, G. Bargeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Bipolar membrane electrodialysis for the production of organic bases, in contrast to organic acids, has received little attention in the scientific literature. In the present work we have investigated and compared different membrane configurations for the alkalinization of monoethanolamine salts into the organic base monoethanolamine. A current utilization of only 36% has been obtained for a two compartment configuration with bipolar and anion-exchange membranes. Proton tunneling through the anion-exchange membrane has been identified as the main reason for this relatively low current utilization. Minimizing proton tunneling by employing proton blocking anion-exchange membranes and using a three compartment configuration, the current utilization could be increased to 80%. This bipolar membrane configuration acts as a concentration step as well. A MEA concentration of 32 wt% in the base compartment could be achieved. A disadvantage of the three compartment configuration is the relatively high unit cell potential drop of 3.1 V at a current density of 1000 A m−2 using a compartment thickness of 0.75 mm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-424
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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