Membrane Processes for Decarbonisation

A special issue of Gases (ISSN 2673-5628).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 6828

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering, Teesside University, Middlesbrough TS1 3BX, UK
Interests: gas separation; CO2 capture; hydrogen purification; membrane processes; process simulation
Department of Chemical Engineering, COMSATS University Islamabad, Lahore Campus, Defense Road, Punjab 54000, Pakistan
Interests: mixed matrix membranes; pervaporation; CO2 capture
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s emissions pathways framework envisions a large-scale application of decarbonisation technologies to reach zero-emissions within the 21st century, followed by negative-emissions. These technologies include but are not limited to Hydrogen Economy and Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS). Hydrogen Economy refers to the insights of using hydrogen as a low-carbon energy source – replacing conventional fossil fuels, mainly for transport and domestic heating applications. CCUS is the process of capturing, utilizing, and/or storing carbon dioxide before it is emitted into the atmosphere. Membrane processes play a crucial role in solving key tasks for the development of these decarbonization technologies due to their lower power usage and costs, simplicity in operation, and their compactness and portability.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to present recent progress in membrane processes for decarbonisation technologies. The topics include but are not limited to polymeric membranes, inorganic membranes, facilitated transport membranes, mixed matrix membranes, hybrid membrane processes, polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs), carbon capture and utilization, global greenhouse gas emissions, direct air carbon capture, hydrogen production and hydrogen purification for fuel cell applications.

Dr. Faizan Ahmad
Dr. Asim Khan
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • gas separation
  • CO2 capture
  • carbon capture and utilization
  • hydrogen production
  • hydrogen purification
  • membranes
  • global greenhouse gas emissions

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

8 pages, 2041 KiB  
Communication
Effect of Mixing Technique on Physico-Chemical Characteristics of Blended Membranes for Gas Separation
by Danial Qadir, Humbul Suleman and Faizan Ahmad
Gases 2023, 3(4), 136-143; https://doi.org/10.3390/gases3040009 - 26 Sep 2023
Viewed by 823
Abstract
Polymer blending has attracted considerable attention because of its ability to overcome the permeability–selectivity trade-off in gas separation applications. In this study, polysulfone (PSU)-modified cellulose acetate (CA) membranes were prepared using N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) and tetrahydrofuran (THF) using a dry–wet phase inversion technique. [...] Read more.
Polymer blending has attracted considerable attention because of its ability to overcome the permeability–selectivity trade-off in gas separation applications. In this study, polysulfone (PSU)-modified cellulose acetate (CA) membranes were prepared using N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) and tetrahydrofuran (THF) using a dry–wet phase inversion technique. The membranes were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for morphological analysis, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) for thermal stability, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to identify the chemical changes on the surface of the membranes. Our analyses confirmed that the mixing method (the route chosen for preparing the casting solution for the blended membranes) significantly influences the morphological and thermal properties of the resultant membranes. The blended membranes exhibited a transition from a finger-like pore structure to a dense substructure in the presence of macrovoids. Similarly, thermal analysis confirmed the improved residual weight (up to 7%) and higher onset degradation temperature (up to 10 °C) of the synthesized membranes. Finally, spectral analysis confirmed that the blending of both polymers was physical only. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Processes for Decarbonisation)
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14 pages, 2124 KiB  
Article
Hydrogen Purification through a Membrane–Cryogenic Integrated Process: A 3 E’s (Energy, Exergy, and Economic) Assessment
by Ahmad Naquash, Amjad Riaz, Fatma Yehia, Yus Donald Chaniago, Hankwon Lim and Moonyong Lee
Gases 2023, 3(3), 92-105; https://doi.org/10.3390/gases3030006 - 27 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3438
Abstract
Hydrogen (H2) is known for its clean energy characteristics. Its separation and purification to produce high-purity H2 is becoming essential to promoting a H2 economy. There are several technologies, such as pressure swing adsorption, membrane, and cryogenic, which can [...] Read more.
Hydrogen (H2) is known for its clean energy characteristics. Its separation and purification to produce high-purity H2 is becoming essential to promoting a H2 economy. There are several technologies, such as pressure swing adsorption, membrane, and cryogenic, which can be adopted to produce high-purity H2; however, each standalone technology has its own pros and cons. Unlike standalone technology, the integration of technologies has shown significant potential for achieving high purity with a high recovery. In this study, a membrane–cryogenic process was integrated to separate H2 via the desublimation of carbon dioxide. The proposed process was designed, simulated, and optimized in Aspen Hysys. The results showed that the H2 was separated with a 99.99% purity. The energy analysis revealed a net-specific energy consumption of 2.37 kWh/kg. The exergy analysis showed that the membranes and multi-stream heat exchangers were major contributors to the exergy destruction. Furthermore, the calculated total capital investment of the proposed process was 816.2 m$. This proposed process could be beneficial for the development of a H2 economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Processes for Decarbonisation)
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15 pages, 4781 KiB  
Article
Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis of a Hollow Fiber Membrane Module for Binary Gas Mixture
by Salman Qadir, Muhammad Ahsan and Arshad Hussain
Gases 2023, 3(2), 77-91; https://doi.org/10.3390/gases3020005 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1783
Abstract
The membrane gas separation process has gained significant attention using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique. This study considered the CFD method to find gas concentration profiles in a hollow fiber membrane (HFM) module to separate the binary gas mixture. The membrane was [...] Read more.
The membrane gas separation process has gained significant attention using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique. This study considered the CFD method to find gas concentration profiles in a hollow fiber membrane (HFM) module to separate the binary gas mixture. The membrane was considered with a fiber thickness where each component’s mass fluxes could be obtained based on the local partial pressures, solubility, diffusion, and the membrane’s selectivity. COMSOL Multiphysics was used to solve the numerical solution at corresponding operating conditions and results were compared to experimental data. The two different mixtures, CO2/CH4 and N2/O2, were investigated to obtain concentration gradient and mass flux profiles of CO2 and O2 species in an axial direction. This study allows assessing the feed pressure’s impact on the HFM system’s overall performance. These results demonstrate that the increment in feed pressures decreased the membrane system’s separation performance. The impact of hollow fiber length indicates that increasing the active fiber length has a higher effective mass transfer region but dilutes the permeate-side purities of O2 (46% to 28%) and CO2 (93% to 73%). The results show that increasing inlet pressure and a higher concentration gradient resulted in higher flux through the membrane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Processes for Decarbonisation)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Application of Membrane Technology for CO2 Capture and Energy Applications
Authors: T.K. Grekou , C. Koutsiantzi, and E.S. Kikkinides
Affiliation: Department of Chemical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece
Abstract: In this work, we present a combined experimental and computational study on the use of polymeric and inorganic membranes in gas separations for CO2 removal and energy separations. More specifically we develop single and complex process configurations employing polymeric membranes for biogas upgrade removing CO2 from CH4. Furthermore we study the use of silica-based ceramic membranes to capture CO2 from flue gases, and to purify H2 produced by steam methane reforming-water gas shift (SMR-WGS) processes. It is found that membrane technology is a cost effective and energy efficient alternative to more mature, energy intensive, separation processes, that can be employed in important industrial and/or environmental applications.

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