An experimental study of diffusion and convection of multicomponent gases through catalytic and non-catalytic membranes

J.W. Veldsink, J.W. Veldsink, Geert Versteeg, Willibrordus Petrus Maria van Swaaij

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Diffusion of binary and ternary gases through catalytic and non-catalytic membranes has been studied experimentally at atmospheric pressure. These experiments were conducted in a modified Wicke-Kallenbach diffusion cell consisting of two continuously stirred gas volumes separated by a membrane. The equipment was suitable to measure fluxes of components through the membrane in the absence of gas-to-membrane mass transfer limitations. Transport through a porous membrane has been measured and compared with the results of the dusty-gas model, which has been used to predict transport through a membrane. With independently determined input parameters this model turned out to be able to predict the transport of a multicomponent gas mixture through a membrane within a few percent (< 5%). The Fick model extended with a convective trnasport contribution was not able to produce similar results as obtained from the dusty-gas model, especially when an overall pressure gradient was present over the membrane. In order to demonstrate the occurrence of surface effects, dynamic transport of a binary gas was studied in a similar experimental setup as described by Novák et al. In this setup the transport of gas mixtures containing helium, argon and nitrogen was in good agreement with the model simulations. For transport of carbon dioxide and propane through a γ-Al2O3 coated membrane, adsorption phenomena were observed, but no substantial surface mobility was detected at temperatures ranging from 293 to 433 K.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)275-291
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of membrane science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • METIS-106046
  • Membrane reactor
  • Diffusion and convection
  • Multicomponent transport
  • IR-11205

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