Using poly(N,N-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate)/polyacrylonitrile composite membranes for gas dehydration and humidification

Jennifer Runhong Du, Li Liu, Amit Chakma, Xianshe Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The transport of water vapor through a composite membrane consisting of hydrophilic poly(N,. N-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) as the active layer and polyacrylonitrile (PAN) as the substrate was investigated, and the performance of the membrane for gas dehydration and humidification applications was evaluated. For gas dehydration, methane/water vapor mixtures were used as feed and vacuum was applied on the downstream side. The feed composition and operating temperature were found to have a significant effect on the membrane performance. The PAN substrate had little effect on the permeation of methane, but the resistance of the substrate to water vapor permeation was significant because of the substantially higher permeability of water vapor in the membrane. For gas humidification, liquid water was brought to be in contact with the active layer of the membrane and nitrogen gas flowed on the other side. With an increase in the gas flow rate, the mass transfer rate of water through the membrane to reach the gas stream increased, and the humidity level of the gas stream decreased. The humidification can be enhanced significantly by operating at a higher temperature. A phenomenological mass transfer equation was derived for membrane humidifiers to correlate the overall mass transfer coefficient and membrane area, and this equation could be used in process design and scale up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4672-4681
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


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