A numerical method accounting for conjugate hydrogen permeation in a dense palladium (Pd) membrane tube is developed. In the method, hydrogen permeation across the membrane is treated by introducing a source-sink pair and a gas mixture produced from water gas shift reactions serves as the feed gas of the membrane tube. The influences of flow patterns of feed gas and sweep gas as well as their flow rates on hydrogen separation are investigated. A concentration polarization index (CPI) is also conducted to indicate the extent of polarization along the membrane surface. The predicted results suggest that counter-current modes are able to give the better performance of hydrogen separation compared to co-current modes, and hydrogen can be completely recovered if the flow rate of feed gas is low to a certain extent. However, lower flow rates of feed gas and sweep gas will trigger serious concentration polarization. With counter-current modes, the feed gas sent into the membrane tube from the lumen side or the shell side is flexible. The optimum Reynolds number of sweep gas in accordance with the Reynolds number of feed gas is correlated by an arctangent function. This provides a useful reference for the operation of hydrogen separation by controlling sweep gas.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology