In the present work we use a membrane contactor for the separation of CO2 from CH4 and we systematically investigate the influence of both the type of membrane and the different process parameters on the overall process performance (permeability and selectivity). This work is important because it reports real process performance data (permeances and selectivities) for the total process consisting of absorption and desorption under practical conditions using feed mixtures. Commercially available porous PP hollow fiber membranes and asymmetric PPO hollow fiber membranes have been applied and MEA was used as absorption liquid in the membrane contactor. The proposed approach allows us to identify the operating window and potential of the process. Although the performance of the PP membranes outperforms the performance of the PPO membranes in terms of productivity and selectivity, the PP fibers are extremely sensitive to only small variations in the feed pressure, resulting in severe performance loss. In addition to that, extremely high liquid losses are observed for the PP fibers especially at elevated temperatures. Factors that are significantly reduced when asymmetric PPO membranes with a dense, ultrathin top layer are used, which thus improves the performance and significantly increases the operating window and potential of the membrane contactor process.
- Gas–liquid membrane contactor
- CO2 capture
- Monoethanolamine (MEA)
- Asymmetric hollow fiber membranes
- Porous hollow fiber membranes