Novamem provides specific membranes for membrane distillation. These membranes even perform if used under significant pressure. Thanks to the small pore sizes, it is also possible to perform membrane distillations with weaker hydrophilic-hydrophobic interaction. In other words: hydrophobic retention is much more effective, at smaller pore sizes as the contact survace is higher. Therefore, even much less polar liquids than water can be distilled via membrane distillation.
The distillation of salt water is possibly the most straightforward application of membrane distillation. The water is evaporated on the membrane and condensates on the permeation side. Thanks to the difference in temperature, there is also a difference in vapor pressure. Consequently, leading to distillation below the actual evaporation temperature.
Ethanol from water is purified with standard distillation processes until the azeotropic point (about 95%). From this point, standard distillation does not purify the mixture any further. However, a hydrophobic membrane leads to a demixing of the liquids. The less polar ethanol will be more likely on the interface between the liquid and the membrane. This interface will evaporate first, leading to a separation and consequently further purification of ethanol from water.