A Comparison between Several Commercial Polymer Hollow Fiber Membranes for Gas Separation

Xiao Yuan Chen, Serge Kaliaguine, Denis Rodrigue

Abstract


Polyethersulfone (PES), polyetherimide (Ultem® 1000), and polyimide (Matrimid® 5218) are common commercial polymers used to produce hollow fiber membranes for different gas separation applications. In this work, asymmetric hollow fiber membranes were prepared using these polymers by a phase inversion technique. The effects of spinning parameters (composition of the dope and bore solution, bore flow rate, air gap distance, temperature of the spinneret and coagulation bath, as well as take-up speed) on the membrane structure and gas permeation properties were investigated. The membrane separation performances were characterized by measuring their gas permeation properties (permeance and selectivity) for different gases (H2, CO2, O2, N2, and CH4) and by their cross-sectional morphology using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The relationships between the gas separation performance of the hollow fibers and the intrinsic gas properties of the dense flat membranes made of the same materials were also studied. A comparison between the average apparent skin layer thickness calculated from O2 permeability/permeance, and the results based on SEM images was made and good agreement was obtained between both results.

Keywords


Polymer, membrane, gas separation, permeability, permeance, selectivity.

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ISSN: 1929-6037