Intensified post-combustion CO2 capture: potential of hollow fiber membrane contactor for absorption and stripping steps

Conference Dates

June 19-24, 2016


Post-combustion CO2 capture (PCC) is an important strategy in mitigating greenhouse effect. The robustness of packed columns makes it the standard technology for the gas-liquid absorption of CO2, using aqueous amine solutions as liquid absorbents. Even though it is not the best performing chemical solvent, monoethanolamine (MEA) at 30% wt. is currently considered as the benchmark solvent for PCC [1]. However, the treatment of large quantities of flue gases requires itself equipment of a large size. Hollow fibre membrane contactors (HFMC) are considered as one of the most promising strategies for intensified CO2 absorption process, due to their significantly higher interfacial area than that of packed columns, allowing to reduce the equipment size [2].

HFMC technology has been widely investigated for the absorption step under laboratory conditions (e.g. high reactant excess) [3]. However, despite the potential advantages of membrane contactors, very few investigations have studied implementing this technology within an industrial framework. The performance of CO2 absorption and stripping using HFMC under industrial conditions is still unknown. To fill this lack, adiabatic multicomponent one-dimensional models have been developed to estimate the performance of both absorption and stripping steps using HFMC and packed columns. The modelling of both technologies is based on coupled mass and heat transfer balances. Indeed, this is standard in packed columns modelling, however, neglecting the thermal effects appears to be common in HFMC modelling [4], [5]. The intensification potential of HFMC for both absorption and stripping steps was therefore estimated in industrial conditions.

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