Hollow-Fiber Coating: Application to Preparation of Composite Hollow-Fiber Membrane for Gas Separation
journal contributionposted on 18.02.2016, 22:10 by Elsa Lasseuguette, Jean-Christophe Rouch, Jean-Christophe Remigy
Among the available membranes, dense polymer composite hollow-fiber membranes are promising for gas permeation applications coupled with the use of gas/liquid contactors, but they are also used in other membrane processes such as pervaporation. This study focuses on a coating process, starting from a polymer solution, to control the thickness and regularity of the coated polymer. The thickness of the liquid film coated onto a fiber is related to the coating velocity, the physical and chemical properties of the liquid, and the coating geometry. Depending on the dominating forces, several regimes are defined: two unstable regimes, in which a thin and regular polymer layer cannot be produced, and two stable regimes, which are of interest for reaching our objectives at the laboratory or industrial scale. The theoretical laws were compared to experimental coatings with solutions of poly(trimethylsilyl)propyne (PTMSP) dissolved in cyclohexane coated onto poly(ether sulfone) (PES) hollow fibers. The viscosities, surface tensions, and densities of the solutions used were measured. The experimental thicknesses of coated polymer layers were compared to values calculated from Landau’s law, which describes the thickness behavior in the viscocapillary regime. The results showed good behavior agreement, but the experimental thickness was underestimated by the calculations. Four different kinds of composite membranes were prepared using two different porous supports (MicroPES and Oxyphan) and two different permeable polymers (PTMSP and Teflon AF2400) for coating. The obtained composites hollow fibers were characterized. All four presented low-energy surfaces with no wetting phenomena. They also exhibited high CO2 and N2 permeabilities with CO2/N2 selectivities between 3.4 and 2.5. The mechanical properties of the composites remained stable except for composites based on PES affected by the drying step during the coating process.