Theoretical study on concentration polarization in gas separation membrane processes

Gaohong He, Yongli Mi, Po Lock Yue, Guohua Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


A mathematical model was established successfully to analyze the gas separation concentration polarization which becomes an important problem due to the rapid development of membranes, especially the increase of permeation rate. The influences of membrane performance and operation parameters on concentration polarization were studied in terms of permeation fluxes of the more and the less permeable gases and separation factor. Sample calculations were presented for the two typical gas separation applications, hydrogen recovery and air separation, with shell side feed in hollow fiber module. The permeation rate was found to be a dominating factor in affecting concentration polarization, while the influences of separation factor to be significant initially and to level off gradually. Increasing feed gas velocity leads to a decrease in the concentration polarization. Operation pressures' effect is limited and the composition of feed gas shows no effect. The range in which concentration polarization is significant has been identified by studying the combined effects of the permeation rate, separation factor and feed gas velocity. Concentration polarization is important for process analysis and design when the permeation rate of the more permeable gas is larger than 1x10-4cm3(STP)cm-2s-1cmHg-1(100GPU).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-258
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Concentration polarization
  • Dehumidification
  • Fiber membranes
  • Gas separation
  • Hydrogen recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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