A CFD Analysis of the Operating Conditions of a Multitube Pd Membrane for H2 Purification

B. Castro-Dominguez[1], R. Ma[1], A. G. Dixon[1], Y. H. Ma[1]
[1]Chemical Engineering Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA, USA
发布日期 2014

The optimization of operating conditions in multitube membrane modules is highly complex. The multiple physics and irregular geometries involved create a challenge for predicting their behavior. This work analyzes the performance of H2 purification through a module containing seven membranes. Using experimental parameters, a 3-D model was devised, specifying the membrane as a reacting boundary based on Sieverts’ law. This module showed the formation of a H2 depleted boundary layer adjacent to the surface of the membranes, called concentration polarization. This phenomenon is caused by radial diffusive limitations which reduce the efficiency of the module. The axial effects of advection at higher Reynolds numbers reduced polarization and the H2 recovery of the process. An optimum recovery-polarization point was found.