Selective CO2 separation from CO2-N2 mixtures by immobilized carbonate-glycerol membranes

H. Chen, A. S. Kovvali, S. Majumdar, K. K. Sirkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Separation of carbon dioxide from a humid mixture of CO2-N2 through membranes containing immobilized solutions of Na2CO3-glycerol in porous and hydrophilic poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) substrate was experimentally studied for use as a venting membrane in space-walk applications. The effects of Na2CO3 concentration, CO2 partial pressure, and feed stream relative humidity (RH) were investigated. The carbonate concentration was in the range of 0-4.0 mol/dm3. The feed gas RH range was 49-100%; the sweep gas was dry helium. CO2 partial pressure (P(CO2,)f) range was 0.007-0.77 atm. Addition of Na2CO3 increased the CO2 permeability drastically at lower carbonate concentrations; at higher Na2CO3 concentrations, this permeability increase is partly compromised by increased solution viscosity and salting-out effect. N2 permeability coefficient decreased with an increase in Na2CO3 concentration. Very high CO2/N2 selectivities were observed at high Na2CO3 concentrations. Higher CO2/N2 selectivities were observed at lower CO2 partial pressure differentials. Steady-state water content in the hygroscopic immobilized liquid membrane (ILM) increases with an increase in feed stream RH. The water content in the ILM considerably affects its viscosity and the effective concentration of the carriers in the ILM; those factors determine the permeation performances of the ILM. Generally, lower permeances and greater CO2N2 selectivity values were observed at lower feed stream RHs. When the feed RH = 50.7%, p(CO2)f = 0.007 atm and the Na2CO3 concentration was 1.0 mol/dm3; the separation factor α(CO2/N2) observed was 3440. Prolonged runs lasting 14 days showed that the ILM permeation performances were quite stable. The ILMs were also found to be stable when challenged with feed streams of very low RHs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3489-3498
Number of pages10
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Selective CO2 separation from CO2-N2 mixtures by immobilized carbonate-glycerol membranes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this