Murmura M., Turchetti L., Augelletti R., Annesini M., Cerbelli S., 2015, How Does Radial Convection Influence the Performance of Membrane Module for Gas Separation Processes?, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 43, 1063-1068.
A two-dimensional axial-symmetric isothermal model, based on full coupling between mass and momentum transport, has been developed to describe the separation of a binary gaseous mixture in a packed bed membrane module. Steady-state conditions have been studied. The gaseous mixture to be separated enters an annular gap between two co-axial cylinders. The inner wall of the outer cylinder is impermeable to both components, whereas a membrane, with infinite selectivity towards one of the components, is supported onto the outer wall of the inner cylinder. A radial flux of the permeating components is therefore present. The main focus was on the determination of the influence of radial convection on the performance of the separator, which has been analysed in terms of three dimensionless groups. Different transport regimes could be identified, corresponding to different values of the dimensionless groups. The impact of radial convection has been assessed by comparing model predictions with those of a fully uncoupled one-dimensional model. A discrepancy up to 20% of the recovery has been observed in industrially relevant ranges of the parameters.