CO2 transport through hollow fiber membranes
Studies on absorption of CO2 into an aqueous solution using hydrophobic microporous hollow fiber membranes (HFM's) were performed. The membrane modules were operated in a sealed-end, parallel flow configuration. Several modules were constructed that ranged in interfacial surface area from 466 to 1397 m2/m3. The mass transfer coefficients were calculated based on a model of the system that included a prediction of the internal axial gas concentrations within the fiber lumen. This model was validated by measuring bulk gas velocity within fiber lumen. A trend of increasing mass transfer coefficients with internal pressure was observed. A correlation for predicting this effect was developed. The use of HFM's for CO2 transfer could significantly improve the biomass growth rate for algal biofuel production. As a result, experiments were performed with a growing algal culture, to investigate the extent of membrane performance reduction as a result of fouling.