College of Computing, Engineering & Construction
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)
NACO controlled Corporate Body
University of North Florida. School of Engineering
Dr. James Fletcher
Dr. Richard V. Conte
Dr. Adel El-Safty
Dr. Murat Tiryakioglu
Dr. Mark Tumeo
The use of hydrophobic porous polymer membranes to vent unwanted gas bubbles from liquid streams is becoming increasingly more common in portable applications such as direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) and micro-fluidic cooling of electronic circuits. In order for these portable systems to keep up with the ever increasing demand of the mobile user, it is essential that auxiliary components, like gas-liquid separators (GLS), continue to decrease in weight and size. While there has been significant progress made in the field of membrane-based gas-liquid separation, the ability to miniaturize such devices has not been thoroughly addressed in the available literature. Thus, it was the purpose of this work to shed light on the scope of GLS miniaturization by examining how the amount porous membrane required to completely separate gas bubbles from a liquid stream varies with operating pressure. Two membrane characterization experiments were also employed to determine the permeability, k, and liquid entry pressure (LEP) of the membrane, which provided satisfying results. These parameters were then implemented into a mathematical model for predicting the theoretical membrane area required for a specified two-phase flow, and the results were compared to experimental values. It was shown that the drastically different surface properties of the wetted materials within the GLS device, namely polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and acrylic, caused the actual membrane area requirement to be higher than the theoretical predictions by a constant amount. By analyzing the individual effects of gas and liquid flow, it was also shown that the membrane area requirement increased significantly when the liquid velocity exceeded an amount necessary to cause the flow regime to transition from wedging/slug flow to wavy/semi-annular flow.
Maxwell, Taylor Patrick, "Passive Gas-Liquid Separation Using Hydrophobic Porous Polymer Membranes: A Study on the Effect of Operating Pressure on Membrane Area Requirement" (2012). UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 351.