Biogas desulfurization and biogas upgrading using a hybrid membrane system – modeling study

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Membrane gas permeation using glassy membranes proved to be a suitable method for biogas upgrading and natural gas substitute production on account of low energy consumption and high compactness. Glassy membranes are very effective in the separation of bulk carbon dioxide and water from a methane-containing stream. However, the content of hydrogen sulfide can be lowered only partially. This work employs process modeling based upon the finite difference method to evaluate a hybrid membrane system built of a combination of rubbery and glassy membranes. The former are responsible for the separation of hydrogen sulfide and the latter separate carbon dioxide to produce standard-conform natural gas substitute. The evaluation focuses on the most critical upgrading parameters like achievable gas purity, methane recovery and specific energy consumption. The obtained results indicate that the evaluated hybrid membrane configuration is a potentially efficient system for the biogas processing tasks that do not require high methane recoveries, and allows effective desulfurization for medium and high hydrogen sulfide concentrations without additional process steps.

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