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Development and evaluation of a CO2 capture system using hollow fiber membranes for industrial emissions applications.
1 , 2 , * 2 , 2
1  Departamento de Ingenierías Química y Biomolecular/ Universidad de Cantabria
2  Departamento de Ingenierías Química y Biomolecular/ Universidad de Cantabria
Academic Editor: Juan Francisco García Martín


Membrane technology has emerged as a selective and efficient option for carbon dioxide (CO2) capture. However, challenges arise in processing high industrial flows with the same effectiveness as mature technologies. Therefore, studying the process efficiency under real conditions is essential. Membranes of a polymeric nature are promising candidates for implementation on industrial scales.

In this context, this study aims to assess a CO2 capture system using synthetic and real gases from the textile and cement industry on an experimental scale using a polysulfone hollow fiber membrane contactor, with the goal of developing a pilot-scale system. The experiments were conducted by varying parameters such as the pressure, CO2 concentration and flowrate. As a result, higher permeate flux values were obtained at the maximum experimental concentration of 12% CO2 in the feed stream, with a value of 472.54 cm3 cm-2 s-1. Additionally, a CO2 permeance value of 90.98 GPU was achieved along with a CO2 /N2 selectivity of 11,37; these values closely approach the Robeson upper bound.

Measurements conducted with gases from the textile industry with a CO2 concentration of 0.5% reaffirmed the results obtained with synthetic gases of a low permeate flux. In contrast, measurements with gases from the cement plant showed promising results. Also, it was demonstrated that oxygen has a significant impact on the separation efficiency, as it competes with CO2 for transport sites in the membrane, reaching concentrations of up to 40% compared to the 0.5% CO2 concentrated in the permeate for textile gases.

In conclusion, tests conducted with gases at higher CO2 concentrations, such as those from the cement industry, reaffirm the technical feasibility of CO2 capture using commercial membranes. However, further research is recommended to explore alternative configurations and materials to improve the process purity and efficiency.

Keywords: carbon capture, hollow fiber, polymeric membranes, CCUS, CO2/N2 separation