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Permeance  of Condensable Gases in Rubbery Polymer Membranes at High Pressure  

Published in the journal Membranes

Authors: Karina Schuldt, Jelena Lillepärg, Jan Pohlmann, Torsten Brinkmann, Sergey Shishatskiy

The gas transport properties of thin film composite membranes (TFCMs) with selective layers of PolyActive™, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), and polyoctylmethylsiloxane (POMS) were investigated over a range of temperatures (10–34 °C; temperature increments of 2 °C) and pressures (1–65 bar abs; 38 pressure increments). The variation in the feed pressure of condensable gases CO2 and C2H6 enabled the observation of peaks of permeance in dependence on the feed pressure and temperature. For PDMS and POMS, the permeance peak was reproduced at the same feed gas activity as when the feed temperature was changed. PolyActive™ TFCM showed a more complex behaviour, most probably due to a higher CO2 affinity towards the poly(ethylene glycol) domains of this block copolymer. A significant decrease in the permeate temperature associated with the Joule–Thomson effect was observed for all TFCMs. The stepwise permeance drop was observed at a feed gas activity of p/po ≥ 1, clearly indicating that a penetrant transfer through the selective layer occurs only according to the conditions on the feed side of the membrane. The permeate side gas temperature has no influence on the state of the selective layer or penetrant diffusing through it. The most likely cause of the observed TFCM behaviour is capillary condensation of the penetrant in the swollen selective layer material, which can be provoked by the clustering of penetrant molecules.

Torsten Brinkmann
Torsten Brinkmann

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Process Engineering

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