The effect of pore dimension of zeolites on the separation of gas mixtures

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Jee, Sang Eun
Sholl, David S.
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We examined the effect of the pore dimension of zeolites on the separation of gas mixtures using atomistic simulation methods. We studied two categories of the zeolites with small pores: pore modified silicalite for H₂/CH₄separation and small pore silica zeolites for CO₂/CH₄separation. The effect of pore modification of silicalite on the H₂/CH₄separation was examined. Under some degrees of surface modification, the CH₄flux was reduced much more than the H₂flux, resulting in high ideal selectivities. The use of small pore zeolites for CO₂/CH₄separations was studied. In DDR, we showed that CO₂diffusion rates are only weakly affected by the presence of CH₄, even though the latter molecules diffuse very slowly. Consequently, therefore, the permeance of CO₂in the equimolar mixtures is similar to the permeance for pure CO₂, while the CH₄permeance in the mixture is greatly reduced relatively to the pure component permeance. The calculated CO₂/CH₄separation selectivities are higher than 100 for a wide range of feed pressure, indicating excellent separation capabilities of DDR based membranes. Inspired by the observation in DDR we also examined the separation capabilities of 10 additional pure silica small pore zeolites for CO₂/CH₄separations. From these considerations, we predict that SAS, MTF and RWR will exhibit high separation selectivities because of their very high adsorption selectivities for CO₂over CH₄. CHA and IHW, which have similar pore structures to DDR, showed comparable separation selectivities to DDR because of large differences in the diffusion rates of CO₂and CH₄.
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