Membrane-Based Absorption of VOCs from a Gas Stream

Tarun K. Poddar, Sudipto Majumdar, Kamalesh K. Sirkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


A regenerative absorption-based process was developed for removing VOCs from N2 in an inert, nonvolatile, organic liquid flowing in compact hollow-fiber devices. The process eliminates flooding, loading, and entrainment, and can replace activated carbon adsorption. Two types of hollow-fiber membranes were studied: one with a microporous wall and the other with a highly VOC-permeable nonporous coating on the outer surface of a microporous hollow fiber. Criteria for nondispersive operation were developed for each case. Experiments were conducted for the absorption of acetone, methylene chloride, toluene, and methanol from the respective VOC-N2 gas mixture using two absorbents: silicone oil and mineral oil. The highest mass-transfer coefficient was obtained for toluene followed by methylene chloride, acetone, and methanol. Different resistances making up the overall resistance in VOC absorption were characterized comprehensively to develop a predictive capability and compare the absorption performances of two types of fibers and the two absorbents. The absorbent-filled porous membrane contributed significantly to the total mass-transfer resistance. Numerical simulations of governing equations based on a cell model agree well with experimental results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3267-3282
Number of pages16
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


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