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Evaluation of microporous hollow fibre membranes for mass transfer of H2 into anaerobic digesters for biomethanisation

Evaluation of microporous hollow fibre membranes for mass transfer of H2 into anaerobic digesters for biomethanisation
Evaluation of microporous hollow fibre membranes for mass transfer of H2 into anaerobic digesters for biomethanisation
BACKGROUND With high surface‐to‐volume ratios, hollow fibre membranes offer a potential solution to improving gas–liquid mass transfer. This work experimentally determined the mass transfer characteristics of commercially available microporous hollow fibre membranes and compared these with the mass transfer from bubble column reactors. Both mass transfer systems are considered for biological methanization, a process that faces a challenge to enhance the H2 gas–liquid mass transfer for methanogenic Archaea to combine H2 and CO2 into CH4.
RESULTS Polypropylene membranes showed the highest mass transfer rate of membranes tested, with a mass transfer coefficient for H2 measured as kL = 1.2 × 10−4 ms−1. These results support the two‐film gas–liquid mass transfer theory, with higher mass transfer rates measured with an increase in liquid flow velocity across the membrane. Despite the higher mass transfer rate from polypropylene membranes and with a liquid flow across the membrane, a volumetric surface area of α = 10.34 m−1 would be required in a full‐scale in situ biological methanization process with much larger values potentially required for high‐rate ex situ systems.
CONCLUSIONS The large surface area of hollow fibre membranes required for H2 mass transfer and issues of fouling and replacement costs of membranes are challenges for hollow fibre membranes in large‐scale biological methanization reactors. Provided that the initial bubble size is small enough (de < 0.5 mm), calculations indicate that microbubbles could offer a simpler means of transferring the required H2 into the liquid phase at a head typical of that found in commercial‐scale anaerobic digesters.
biomethanization, Carbon dioxide, hydrogen, Methane, Mass transfer, Power to gas
0268-2575
2693-2701
Nock, William J.
59978174-39a7-43b7-96ff-0a8cdf827e40
Serna Maza, Alba
81ce5c84-2b04-49b3-86fd-3a5a6834efc2
Heaven, Sonia
f25f74b6-97bd-4a18-b33b-a63084718571
Banks, Charles
5c6c8c4b-5b25-4e37-9058-50fa8d2e926f
Nock, William J.
59978174-39a7-43b7-96ff-0a8cdf827e40
Serna Maza, Alba
81ce5c84-2b04-49b3-86fd-3a5a6834efc2
Heaven, Sonia
f25f74b6-97bd-4a18-b33b-a63084718571
Banks, Charles
5c6c8c4b-5b25-4e37-9058-50fa8d2e926f

Nock, William J., Serna Maza, Alba, Heaven, Sonia and Banks, Charles (2019) Evaluation of microporous hollow fibre membranes for mass transfer of H2 into anaerobic digesters for biomethanisation. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, 94 (8), 2693-2701. (doi:10.1002/jctb.6081).

Record type: Article

Abstract

BACKGROUND With high surface‐to‐volume ratios, hollow fibre membranes offer a potential solution to improving gas–liquid mass transfer. This work experimentally determined the mass transfer characteristics of commercially available microporous hollow fibre membranes and compared these with the mass transfer from bubble column reactors. Both mass transfer systems are considered for biological methanization, a process that faces a challenge to enhance the H2 gas–liquid mass transfer for methanogenic Archaea to combine H2 and CO2 into CH4.
RESULTS Polypropylene membranes showed the highest mass transfer rate of membranes tested, with a mass transfer coefficient for H2 measured as kL = 1.2 × 10−4 ms−1. These results support the two‐film gas–liquid mass transfer theory, with higher mass transfer rates measured with an increase in liquid flow velocity across the membrane. Despite the higher mass transfer rate from polypropylene membranes and with a liquid flow across the membrane, a volumetric surface area of α = 10.34 m−1 would be required in a full‐scale in situ biological methanization process with much larger values potentially required for high‐rate ex situ systems.
CONCLUSIONS The large surface area of hollow fibre membranes required for H2 mass transfer and issues of fouling and replacement costs of membranes are challenges for hollow fibre membranes in large‐scale biological methanization reactors. Provided that the initial bubble size is small enough (de < 0.5 mm), calculations indicate that microbubbles could offer a simpler means of transferring the required H2 into the liquid phase at a head typical of that found in commercial‐scale anaerobic digesters.

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Nock et al 2019 Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 11 May 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 May 2019
Published date: August 2019
Keywords: biomethanization, Carbon dioxide, hydrogen, Methane, Mass transfer, Power to gas

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432090
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432090
ISSN: 0268-2575
PURE UUID: 7cc83794-63a8-45d5-9aac-a6d0b1dd4917
ORCID for Sonia Heaven: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7798-4683

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Date deposited: 01 Jul 2019 16:30
Last modified: 17 May 2020 04:01

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