This paper analysed the performance of a membrane system over key design/operation parameters. A computation methodology is developed to solve the model of hollow fibre membrane systems for multicomponent gas feeds. The model represented by a nonlinear differential algebraic equation system is solved via a combination of backward differentiation and Gauss-Seidel methods. Natural gas sweetening problem is investigated as a case study. Model parametric analyses of variables, namely feed gas quality, pressure, area, selectivity and permeance, resulted in better understanding of operating and design optima. Particularly, high selectivities and/or permeabilities are shown not to be necessary targets for optimal operation. Rather, a medium selectivity (<60 in the given example) combined with medium permeance (∼300-500×10-10mol/sm2Pa in the given case study) is more advantageous. This model-based membrane systems engineering approach is proposed for the synthesis of efficient and cost-effective multi-stage membrane networks. © 2012 The Institution of Chemical Engineers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)