Analysis of feed stream acid gas concentration effects on the transport properties and separation performance of polymeric membranes for natural gas sweetening: A comparison between a glassy and rubbery polymer

Justin T. Vaughn, William J. Koros

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49 Scopus citations

Abstract

A 6FDA based polyamide-imide, 6F-PAI-1, is compared to Pebax®, a commercially available rubbery polyether/polyamide block copolymer, for the simultaneous separation of CO2 and H2S from CH4. Feed streams of 20/20/60 and 5/45/50H2S/CO2/CH4 were used to compare the effect of acid gas concentration on the separation efficiency of 6F-PAI-1 and Pebax® under industrially relevant conditions. 6F-PAI-1 showed CO2/CH4 selectivities at 850psia total feed pressure of 30 and 40 for the 20/20/60 and 5/45/50 feed streams, respectively, while selectivity for H2S/CH4 was approximately 20 for both feeds. Pebax® showed selectivities of 40 and 10 for H2S/CH4 and CO2/CH4, respectively. Both selectivities were mostly independent of acid gas concentration in the feed, an unsurprising trend considering the non-glassy nature of this material. The selectivities in 6F-PAI-1 translated to less than 6% CH4 lost in the permeate stream for both feeds, while for the 5/45/50 feed, CH4 fraction in the permeate at 850psia was less than 4%. These promising results suggest that glassy polymers possessing favorable intrinsic plasticization resistance, such as 6F-PAI-1, may be appropriate for the typical case of natural gas sweetening where CO2 concentration in the feed is higher than it is for H2S. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-116
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Volume465
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

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