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Modeling and Parametric Study for CO2/CH4 Separation Using Membrane Processes

Authors: Faizan Ahmad, Lau Kok Keong, Azmi Mohd. Shariff


The upgrading of low quality crude natural gas (NG) is attracting interest due to high demand of pipeline-grade gas in recent years. Membrane processes are commercially proven technology for the removal of impurities like carbon dioxide from NG. In this work, cross flow mathematical model has been suggested to be incorporated with ASPEN HYSYS as a user defined unit operation in order to design the membrane system for CO2/CH4 separation. The effect of operating conditions (such as feed composition and pressure) and membrane selectivity on the design parameters (methane recovery and total membrane area required for the separation) has been studied for different design configurations. These configurations include single stage (with and without recycle) and double stage membrane systems (with and without permeate or retentate recycle). It is shown that methane recovery can be improved by recycling permeate or retentate stream as well as by using double stage membrane systems. The ASPEN HYSYS user defined unit operation proposed in the study has potential to be applied for complex membrane system design and optimization.

Keywords: CO2/CH4 Separation, Membrane Process, Membrane modeling, Natural Gas Processing

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