Date of Award

1-31-1993

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Kamalesh K. Sirkar

Second Advisor

Piero M. Armenante

Third Advisor

Henry Shaw

Abstract

In this study, separation of a gas mixture was investigated using the novel concept of pressure swing absorption in a stationary absorbent liquid. The best features of pressure swing adsorption, gas liquid scrubbing and hollow fiber based membrane processes were incorporated to develop the process.

A well-packed microporous hydrophobic hollow fiber module was used to achieve absorption of a gas at a high pressure into a liquid during a certain part of the cycle followed by desorption of the gas from the liquid in the other part of the cycle. The device has a very high interfacial area per unit volume since the gas-liquid interfaces are immobilized at the pore mouths of fine hollow fibers. Separation of mixtures of N2 and CO2, where CO2 is the impurity to be removed, was studied using a simple absorbent liquid such as water. The results show that the process is feasible and quite efficient in reducing CO2 concentration in the purified gas by using cycle times as low as 40 seconds. A preliminary model for one type of pressure swing absorption cycle has been formulated to provide, in future, a guideline for the cycle time.

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