Pilot Scale Investigatons of the Removal of Carbon Dioxide from Hydrocarbon Gas Streams Using Polyethylene – Polybutyleneteraphtalate (POLYACTIVE®) Thin Film Composite Membranes
AbstractThe focus of this contribution is the separation of carbon dioxide from biogas and hydrocarbon containing gaseous reaction products using a high flux flat sheet membrane. The thin selective layer of the membranes is made from the commercial blockcopolymer Polyactive®. The membrane material is manufactured reproducibly on a technical scale and installed into membrane modules. The modules were investigated in three pilot plants: two for the removal of carbon dioxide from methane and one for the separation of carbon dioxide from gaseous hydrocarbon streams. The pilot plant experiments confirmed a rapid approach to steady state operation and the dependence of the separation result on the employed pressure ratio. For the biogas applications it was shown that a single stage process is sufficient to achieve methane purities in excess of 95 mol-% in the retentate at methane recoveries of 70%, as well as carbon dioxide mole fractions larger than 60 mol-% in the permeate. Carbon dioxide could also be removed successfully from gaseous, hydrocarbon containing product streams employing the investigated high flux membranes. The employed simulation model for the modules predicted the experimental results well and proofed to be a valuable tool.