Olefin/paraffin separation is an important technological process. A promising alternative to conventional energy-consuming methods is employment of gas-liquid membrane contactors. In the present work, the membranes used were polysulfone (PSf) asymmetrical porous hollow fibers fabricated via the NIPS (non-solvent induced phase separation) technique in the free spinning mode. The surface of the fine-pored selective layer from the lumen side of the fibers was modified by layer-by-layer deposition of perfluorinated acrylic copolymer Protect Guard®
in order to hydrophobized the surface and to avoid penetration of the liquid absorbent in the porous structure of the membranes. The absorbents studied were silver salts (AgNO3
) solutions in five ionic liquids (ILs) based on imidazolium and phosphonium cations. The membranes were analyzed through gas permeance measurement, SEM and dispersive X-ray (EDXS). Contact angle values of both unmodified and modified membranes were determined for water, ethylene glycol, ILs and silver salts solutions in ILs. It was shown that the preferable properties for employment in membrane contactor refer to the PSf hollow fiber membranes modified by two layers of Protect Guard®
, and to the absorbent based on 1 M AgNO3
solution in 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium dicyanamide. Using the membrane contactor designed, ethylene/ethane mixture (80/20) separation was carried out. The fluxes of both components as well as their overall mass transport coefficients (MTC) were calculated. It was shown that the membrane absorption system developed provides absorption of approx. 37% of the initial ethylene volume in the mixture. The overall MTC value for ethylene was 4.7 GPU (gas permeance unit).
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