Case 13534

Responsive Material for Separation of Organics from Water and Methods Thereof


Stimuli-responsive polymers, liquid-liquid extraction


Removal of low-molecular weight alcohols from water

  • Limited production rate


The invention develops in-situ continuous separation systems which use stimuli-responsive polymers for low-molecular weight alcohol removal by using the polymers to bind alcohol in their reduced state the release the bound alcohol when the polymer is oxidized. The redox-responsive polymers contain redox-sensitive moieties (such as ferrocene) wherein the hydrophilicity of the polymer increases upon oxidation of the redox-responsive moieties. This novel method reduces the product inhibition effects that plague the production of low-molecular weight alcohol from bio-mass by fermentation process.

  • Enhancement of the production of low-molecular weight alcohols

  • Professor Alan T. Hatton(Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT)
  • Dr. Lev E. Bromberg (Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT)
  • Abhinav Akhoury (Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

US patent (12/395004) filed on February 27, 2009



Last revised:November 5, 2010

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