Innovative use of membrane contactor as condenser for heat recovery in carbon capture

Shuiping Yan, Shuaifei Zhao*, Leigh Wardhaugh, Paul H M Feron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The gas-liquid membrane contactor generally used as a nonselective gas absorption enhancement device is innovatively proposed as a condenser for heat recovery in liquid-absorbent-based carbon capture. The membrane condenser is used as a heat exchanger to recover the latent heat of the exiting vapor from the desorber, and it can help achieve significant energy savings when proper membranes with high heat-transfer coefficients are used. Theoretical thermodynamic analysis of mass and heat transfer in the membrane condensation system shows that heat recovery increases dramatically as inlet gas temperature rises and outlet gas temperature falls. The optimal split mass flow rate is determined by the inlet gas temperature and the overall heat-transfer coefficient in the condensation system. The required membrane area is also strongly dependent on the overall heat-transfer coefficient, particularly at higher inlet gas temperatures. Mass transfer across the membrane has an insignificant effect on heat transfer and heat recovery, suggesting that membrane wetting may not be an issue when a membrane condenser is used for heat recovery. Our analysis provides important insights into the energy recovery performance of the membrane condensation system as well as selection of operational parameters, such as split mass flow rate and membrane area, thickness, and thermal conductivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2532-2540
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Innovative use of membrane contactor as condenser for heat recovery in carbon capture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this