New absorption liquids for the removal of CO2 from dilute gas streams using membrane contactors

P.S. Kumar, J.A. Hogendoorn, P.H.M. Feron, G.F. Versteeg

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A new absorption liquid based on amino acid salts has been studied for CO2 removal in membrane gas–liquid contactors. Unlike conventional gas treating solvents like aqueous alkanolamines solutions, the new absorption liquid does not wet polyolefin microporous membranes. The wetting characteristics of aqueous alkanolamines and amino acid salt solutions for a hydrophobic membrane was studied by measuring the surface tension of the liquid and the breakthrough pressure of the liquid into the pores of the membrane. The dependence of the breakthrough pressure on surface tension follows the Laplace–Young equation. The performance of the new absorption liquid in the removal of CO2 was studied in a single fiber membrane contactor over a wide range of partial pressures of CO2 in the gas phase and amino acid salt concentrations in the liquid. A numerical model to describe the mass transfer accompanied by multiple chemical reactions occurring during the absorption of CO2 in the liquid flowing through the hollow fiber was developed. The numerical model gives a good prediction of the CO2 absorption flux across the membrane for the absorption of CO2 in the aqueous amino acid salt solutions flowing through the hollow fiber.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1639-1651
Number of pages13
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Wetting
  • Gas separation
  • Gas–liquid contactor
  • Membranes
  • Mass transfer
  • Absorption

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