【摘要】：Recovering alcohols from dilute fermentation broth is an emergent task in bio-fuel production process. Since they are primary planned for fuels, energy required to separate these alcohols should be considered in evaluating the potential of a separation technology. A membrane-based process, pervaporation, is of special interest because of its environmental friendliness and easy integrating character. This review probes into the fundamentals of pervaporation especially in terms of the heat required for evaporation. Meanwhile, the separation data of the most representative alcohol-selective pervaporation membranes reported in the literatures are collected and compared with the vapor–liquid equilibrium curve, which represents the distillation selectivity. They include:inorganic membranes, silicon rubber based membranes, Mixed Matrix Membranes and some other special materials. By doing so, the status of alcohol recovery via pervaporation would be more clear for researchers.For ethanol recovery, it is selectivity rather than flux that is in urgent need of solution. While for butanol recovery,membranes with satisfactory selectivity have been developed, increasing the separation capacity would be more pressing.