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Open AccessArticle

Demonstrating Commercial Hollow Fibre Membrane Contactor Performance at Industrial Scale for Biogas Upgrading at a Sewage Treatment Works

1
Cranfield Water Science Institute, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
2
Northumbrian Water, Boldon House, Pity Me, Durham DH1 5FJ, UK
3
Anglian Water, Thorpewood House, Peterborough PE3 6SR, UK
4
Severn Trent Water, Coventry CV1 2LZ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2021, 13(2), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020172
Received: 12 November 2020 / Revised: 11 December 2020 / Accepted: 14 December 2020 / Published: 13 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhancement of Anaerobic Digestion for Energy and Resource Recovery)
Hollow fibre membrane contactor (HFMC) technology has been developed for CO2 absorption primarily using synthetic gas, which neglects the critical impact that trace contaminants might have on separation efficiency and robustness in industrial gases. This study, therefore, commissioned a demonstration-scale HFMC for CO2 separation at a full-scale anaerobic digester facility to evaluate membrane integrity over six months of operation on real biogas. The CO2 capture efficiency identified using real biogas was benchmarked at comparable conditions on synthetic gas of an equivalent partial pressure, and an equivalent performance identified. Two HFMC were subsequently compared, one with and one without a pre-treatment stage that targeted particulates, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and humidity. Similar CO2 separation efficiency was again demonstrated, indicating limited impact within the timescale evaluated. However, gas phase pre-treatment is advised in order to ensure robustness in the long term. Over longer-term operation, a decline in CO2 separation efficiency was observed. Membrane autopsy identified shell-side deposition, where the structural morphology and confirmation of amide I and II groups, indicated biofouling. Separation efficiency was reinstated via chemical cleaning, which demonstrated that proactive maintenance could minimise process risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon capture; biogas; prefiltration; membrane fouling; wastewater treatment works carbon capture; biogas; prefiltration; membrane fouling; wastewater treatment works
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MDPI and ACS Style

Houlker, S.; Rutherford, T.; Herron, D.; Brookes, A.; Moore, A.; Vale, P.; Pidou, M.; McAdam, E. Demonstrating Commercial Hollow Fibre Membrane Contactor Performance at Industrial Scale for Biogas Upgrading at a Sewage Treatment Works. Water 2021, 13, 172. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020172

AMA Style

Houlker S, Rutherford T, Herron D, Brookes A, Moore A, Vale P, Pidou M, McAdam E. Demonstrating Commercial Hollow Fibre Membrane Contactor Performance at Industrial Scale for Biogas Upgrading at a Sewage Treatment Works. Water. 2021; 13(2):172. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020172

Chicago/Turabian Style

Houlker, Sam; Rutherford, Tony; Herron, Daniel; Brookes, Adam; Moore, Andrew; Vale, Peter; Pidou, Marc; McAdam, Ewan. 2021. "Demonstrating Commercial Hollow Fibre Membrane Contactor Performance at Industrial Scale for Biogas Upgrading at a Sewage Treatment Works" Water 13, no. 2: 172. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020172

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