Enhanced Membrane System for Recovery of Water from Gas-Liquid Mixtures

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014

$125K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Compact Membrane Systems, Inc.
NEWPORT, DE 19804
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

Gas-Liquid separation is an acute microgravity problem. Existing devices use centrifugal motion on microporous membranes to separate the two phases. Centrifugal devices consume electricity and are prone to failure. The microporous membranes easily foul and have significant water loss. Novel membrane devices are proposed. Membranes can simultaneously disengage gases from gas-liquid dispersion and degas water. Membrane is compact, lightweight and with no moving parts, consumes no electricity during gas-liquid separation and provides enhanced simplicity. Product is novel nonporous high gas flux, high temperature perfluoropolymers. Gas-liquid dispersion/solution enters module and dispersed/dissolved gases permeate through membrane. Degassed water leaves device. Degassing of water is independent of water pressure. Therefore operating at low pressure is desirable. Non-porous nature minimizes fouling. Thousands of systems have been sold over the last 10 years for degassing transformer oil. Water vapor losses are simultaneously reduced. Key innovations include development of fouling resistance high temperature hydrophobic Hollow Fiber (HF) system for degassing gas-liquid. By flowing gas-liquid feed on outside of wound HF, both gas and liquid feed are well mixed and exposed to membrane non-porous surface. Industrial partners have been established. Phase I will demonstrate gas-liquid separation and superior performance in fouling resistance and water loss compared to Microporous HF controls. Partners are positioned to actively participate in Phase II and commercialization.