Processes 2013, 1(2), 49-66; doi:10.3390/pr1020049
Article

Scale-Up Design Analysis and Modelling of Cobalt Oxide Silica Membrane Module for Hydrogen Processing

1 FIMLab–Films and Inorganic Membrane Laboratory, School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane Qld 4072, Australia 2 School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane Qld 4072, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 May 2013; in revised form: 28 June 2013 / Accepted: 26 July 2013 / Published: 5 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
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Abstract: This work shows the application of a validated mathematical model for gas permeation at high temperatures focusing on demonstrated scale-up design for H2 processing. The model considered the driving force variation with spatial coordinates and the mass transfer across the molecular sieve cobalt oxide silica membrane to predict the separation performance. The model was used to study the process of H2 separation at 500 °C in single and multi-tube membrane modules. Parameters of interest included the H2 purity in the permeate stream, H2 recovery and H2 yield as a function of the membrane length, number of tubes in a membrane module, space velocity and H2 feed molar fraction. For a single tubular membrane, increasing the length of a membrane tube led to higher H2 yield and H2 recovery, owing to the increase of the membrane area. However, the H2 purity decreased as H2 fraction was depleted, thus reducing the driving force for H2 permeation. By keeping the membrane length constant in a multi-tube arrangement, the H2 yield and H2 recovery increase was attributed to the higher membrane area, but the H2 purity was again compromised. Increasing the space velocity avoided the reduction of H2 purity and still delivered higher H2 yield and H2 recovery than in a single membrane arrangement. Essentially, if the membrane surface is too large, the driving force becomes lower at the expense of H2 purity. In this case, the membrane module is over designed. Hence, maintaining a driving force is of utmost importance to deliver the functionality of process separation.
Keywords: inorganic membrane; driving force; H2 molar fraction; single; multi-tube module

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ji, G.; Wang, G.; Hooman, K.; Bhatia, S.K.; da Costa, J.C.D. Scale-Up Design Analysis and Modelling of Cobalt Oxide Silica Membrane Module for Hydrogen Processing. Processes 2013, 1, 49-66.

AMA Style

Ji G, Wang G, Hooman K, Bhatia SK, da Costa JCD. Scale-Up Design Analysis and Modelling of Cobalt Oxide Silica Membrane Module for Hydrogen Processing. Processes. 2013; 1(2):49-66.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ji, Guozhao; Wang, Guoxiong; Hooman, Kamel; Bhatia, Suresh K.; da Costa, João C.D. 2013. "Scale-Up Design Analysis and Modelling of Cobalt Oxide Silica Membrane Module for Hydrogen Processing." Processes 1, no. 2: 49-66.

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