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Fibers 2018, 6(4), 83;

High-Pressure Aging of Asymmetric Torlon® Hollow Fibers for Helium Separation from Natural Gas

Dmitry Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia, 125047 Moscow, Russia
Baikov Institute of Metallurgy and Materials Science, Russian Academy of Sciences, 125047 Moscow, Russia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 September 2018 / Revised: 20 October 2018 / Accepted: 23 October 2018 / Published: 25 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Hollow Fiber Membrane)
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Membrane separation for helium extraction from natural gas gained increased interest recently. Several vendors offer membrane elements for helium extraction, although data on their performance and operating experience are unpublished. The aim of this work was to obtain and study the separation performance of asymmetric hollow-fiber membrane element from commercial polyamide-imide Torlon®, in conditions close to the industrial process of helium extraction from natural gas. A membrane element with an active area of 0.177 m2, a helium permeance of 100 l(STP)/(m2·h·bar), and a selectivity α(He/CH4) = 340 was produced. This corresponds to a selective layer thickness of 82.3 nm, which was confirmed by SEM and resistance model calculations. The obtained membrane element was employed to decrease the concentration of helium in its binary mixture with methane from 0.4% to 0.05%. A relationship of separation characteristics from transmembrane pressure is also presented. At 70 bar and a stage cut of 2.7%, the feed flow rate was 0.16 m3(STP)/h, which yielded a helium permeate concentration of 14.7%. At 80 bar, a decrease in permeance to 60 l(STP)/(m2·h·bar) and in selectivity to 240 was observed. It was shown that the main reason for aging was the increased support resistance, due to a partial compaction of pores with a radius of less than 15 nm. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymeric hollow-fiber membranes; helium; gas separation; aging polymeric hollow-fiber membranes; helium; gas separation; aging

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Dibrov, G.; Ivanov, M.; Semyashkin, M.; Sudin, V.; Kagramanov, G. High-Pressure Aging of Asymmetric Torlon® Hollow Fibers for Helium Separation from Natural Gas. Fibers 2018, 6, 83.

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