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Separation Process Engineering: Includes Mass Transfer Analysis, Third Edition by Phillip C. Wankat

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17.2 Membrane Concepts

Clearly the key to the membrane separators is the membrane. The membrane needs to have a high permeability for permeate and a low permeability for retentate. It helps if the membrane has high temperature and chemical resistances, is mechanically strong, resists fouling, can be formed into the desired module shapes, and is relatively inexpensive. Commercial membranes are made from polymers, ceramics, and metals (e.g., palladium for helium purification), but polymer membranes are by far the most common. Membrane development is done by a few large chemical companies and by several specialty firms. Most chemical engineers will use membrane separators, but they will never be involved in membrane development. However, some understanding ...

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