Distillation of ethanol is only possible up to the azeotropic point at 95.6% volume. Nowadays the preferred technology for the dehydration of ethanol beyond this azeotropic condition is pressure swing adsorption using synthetic molecular sieves. This dehydration step is necessary for the ethanol to meet the fuel grade standard of >99% or >99.5% ethanol. Other industrial and food applications may require even more stringent purity levels in the final product.
Zeochem is the global leader in supplying molecular sieves for the ethanol dehydration market. Over 70% of the ethanol plants in the USA, Brazil and the rest of the world have been using Zeochem's Z3-03 molecular sieve.
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