Evaluation of CO2 Capture with High Performance Hollow Fiber Membranes from Flue Gas: A Pilot Scale Study

This project aims to fabricate high performance hollow fibre membranes for CO2 capture from flue gases and to assess their performance with both a laboratory synthesized gas mixture and real flue gases from a power plant. The polymer materials used in this work should fulfil the following criteria:

  1. Good separation properties
  2. Manufacturing readiness of the materials/synthesis at scale
  3. Membrane fabrication at scale
  4. Module fabrication at scale
  5. Performance sustainability of materials under real flue gas conditions/pilot scale testing.

While the research in this field is very active and many new materials are being synthesized, using low cost polymeric membranes in high packing density modules should facilitate large- scale implementation and increase economical viability. Extensive studies have been carried out on a large range of polymeric materials fabricated as thin flat dense membrane films on a laboratory scale; however, only a small number of these materials have been fabricated as integrally skinned membranes for CO2/N2 separation which can be potentially assembled into high packing density modules. While composite flat sheet membranes have shown that there is potential to achieve very high permeances, these coating techniques have yet to be translated onto hollow fibres which can be packed in much high packing densities.

In addition, many reported studies in this field were conducted in the laboratory using pure gases or binary mixtures that do not contain minor components that are likely to affect membrane performance in the field. Physical ageing and long-term stability are rarely considered or reported. Comparisons of membrane performance both for mixed gases in the lab and real flue gas on-site in a power plant have also been limited.

In consideration of these issues and with the aim of large-scale deployment, novel hollow fiber membranes will be tested both in the laboratory and in pilot scale. A pilot plant will be built at the Vales Point Power Plant to treat the flue gas emitted from the plant with our in-house fabricated membrane.

Research Team:  Vicki Chen
                                Hongyu Li
                                Guangxi Dong

Collaborators:      Australian Low Emission Coal R&D

Funding Body:     CO2CRC