Responsive Material for Separation of Organics from Water and Methods Thereof


An application for this technology is in removal of low-molecular weight alcohols from water.

Problem Addressed

An issue with the current technology is its 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