Characteristics of Gas Permeation Behaviour in Multilayer Thin Film Composite Membranes for CO2 Separation


Porous, porous/gutter layer and porous/gutter layer/selective layer types of membranes were investigated for their gas transport properties in order to derive an improved description of the transport performance of thin film composite membranes (TFCM). A model describing the individual contributions of the different layers’ mass transfer resistances was developed. The proposed method allows for the prediction of permeation behaviour with standard deviations (SD) up to 10%. The porous support structures were described using the Dusty Gas Model (based on the Maxwell–Stefan multicomponent mass transfer approach) whilst the permeation in the dense gutter and separation layers was described by applicable models such as the Free-Volume model, using parameters derived from single gas time lag measurements. The model also accounts for the thermal expansion of the dense layers at pressure differences below 100 kPa. Using the model, the thickness of a silicone-based gutter layer was calculated from permeation measurements. The resulting value differed by a maximum of 30 nm to the thickness determined by scanning electron microscopy.
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