Paper presented to the 10th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Florida, 14-16 July 2014.
Gas-gas separation is a critical process in natural gas purification. Removing acidic gasses from natural gas is particularly important to protect the pipeline from corrosion. Using a membrane to purify natural gas is receiving a lot of attention recently. Membrane performance can be enhanced by either improving the permeability or the selectivity of the membrane or by enhancing the momentum mixing in the bulk flow. Our work will focus on improving membrane performance by enhancing momentum mixing in the bulk flow for gas-gas separation to purify natural gas. Pulsating flow in a channel with turbulators will be considered. Computational fluid dynamics simulation will be conducted for turbulent flow of multicomponent fluid including mass transfer of each species. RANS -Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes equation along with mass transport equation will be employed to simulate 2-D transient turbulent flows of bulk fluid. The membrane will be modeled as a functional surface where the flux of each component will be determined based on the local partial pressure of each species, composition, and permeability and selectivity of the membrane. The performance of the system will be measured by maximum mass separation with minimal frictional losses.