Single component and mixed gas transport in a silica hollow fiber membrane

Mohammed H. Hassan, J. Douglas Way, Paul M. Thoen, Anne C. Dillon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


The permeances of gases with kinetic diameters ranging from 2.6 to 3.9 Å were measured through silica hollow fiber membranes over a temperature range of 298 to 473 K at a feed gas pressure of 20 atm. Permeances at 298 K ranged from 10 to 2.3· 105 Barrer/cm for CH4 and He, respectively, and were inversely proportional to the kinetic diameter of the penetrant. From measurements of CO2 adsorption at low relative pressures, the silica hollow fibers are microporous with a mean pore size estimated to be between 5.9 and 8.5 Å. X-ray scattering measurements show that the orientation of the pores is completely random. Mass transfer through the silica hollow fiber membranes is an activated process. Activation energies for diffusion through the membranes were calculated from the slopes of Arrhenius plots of the permeation data. The energies of activation ranged from 4.61 to 14.0 kcal/mol and correlate well with the kinetic diameter of the penetrants. The experimental activation energies fall between literature values for zeolites 3A and 4A. Large separation factors were obtained for O2 N2 and CO2 CH4 mixtures. The O2 N2 mixed gas separation factors decreased from 11.3 at 298 K to 4.8 at 423 K and were up to 20% larger than the values calculated from pure gases at temperatures below 373 K. Similar differences in the separation factors were observed for CO2 CH4 mixtures after the membrane had been heated to at least 398 K and then cooled in an inert gas flow. The differences between the mixture and ideal separation factors is attributed to a competitive adsorption effect in which the more strongly interacting gases saturate the surface and block the transport of the weakly interacting gases. Based on Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy results, this unusual behavior is attributed to the removal of physically adsorbed water from the membrane surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-42
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Ceramic membranes
  • Gas separations
  • Glass membranes
  • Inorganic membranes
  • Microporous membranes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


Dive into the research topics of 'Single component and mixed gas transport in a silica hollow fiber membrane'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this