A modified Maxwell-Stefan model for transport through inert membranes : the binary friction model

P.J.A.M. Kerkhof

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    This paper focuses mainly on the development of a model for permeation through inert membranes, as encountered in many cases in ultrafiltration and in gas permeation through inert porous plugs. The ultrafiltration model is made up of a boundary layer transport model and a porous membrane model in series, which are connected by an equilibrium relation. The boundary layer model is developed with the Vieth approximation for turbulent diffusivity. For the internal membrane transport, a modification of the Maxwell-Stefan-Lightfoot equation is derived (the binary friction model), which in a natural way includes both interspecies (diffusive) and species-wall forces. Application for the partial separation of PEG-3400 from aqueous solution shows that membrane friction coefficients can simply be estimated from membrane resistance measurements and mixture viscosity data. The only adjustable parameter to be determined is the distribution coefficient between the free solution and the membrane pores. The differences between the Lightfoot approach and the dusty gas model (DGM) are shown to stem from errors in the drivations of the latter, thus invalidating the dusty gas approach in the normal region in which viscous friction effects become important. For gases, the binary friction model is developed to include Knudsen and viscous wall friction terms as well as intermolecular diffusion. It is shown to give excellent coverage of the He-Ar diffusion data of Evans et al. (J. Appl. Phys., 33 (1962) 2682; 34 (1963) 2020), with wall friction coefficients derived directly from Knudsen coefficients and gas viscosity data. The apparent success of the DGM in describing the same phenomena is shown to be caused by the relatively small importance of the wall friction forces at elevated pressures, and by the correct transition to Knudsen flow at low pressures. In addition, it is shown that diffusive slip phenomena in capillaries can be described well by the binary friction model.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)319-343
    JournalChemical Engineering Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1996


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