Gases, Vol. 3, Pages 77-91: Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis of a Hollow Fiber Membrane Module for Binary Gas Mixture

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Gases, Vol. 3, Pages 77-91: Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis of a Hollow Fiber Membrane Module for Binary Gas Mixture

Gases doi: 10.3390/gases3020005

Authors:
Salman Qadir
Muhammad Ahsan
Arshad Hussain

The membrane gas separation process has gained significant attention using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique. This study considered the CFD method to find gas concentration profiles in a hollow fiber membrane (HFM) module to separate the binary gas mixture. The membrane was considered with a fiber thickness where each component’s mass fluxes could be obtained based on the local partial pressures, solubility, diffusion, and the membrane’s selectivity. COMSOL Multiphysics was used to solve the numerical solution at corresponding operating conditions and results were compared to experimental data. The two different mixtures, CO2/CH4 and N2/O2, were investigated to obtain concentration gradient and mass flux profiles of CO2 and O2 species in an axial direction. This study allows assessing the feed pressure’s impact on the HFM system’s overall performance. These results demonstrate that the increment in feed pressures decreased the membrane system’s separation performance. The impact of hollow fiber length indicates that increasing the active fiber length has a higher effective mass transfer region but dilutes the permeate-side purities of O2 (46% to 28%) and CO2 (93% to 73%). The results show that increasing inlet pressure and a higher concentration gradient resulted in higher flux through the membrane.

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