Development And Computational Studies Of Multi-Channel Adsorbent Hollow Fibre For The Removal Of Volatile Organic Compounds

  • Aesam Alsharif

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Escalating energy and environmental issues are driving researchers and industries throughout the world to study gas separation. Being common toxic gases, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) must be removed from the atmosphere. When compared to the conventional adsorption process, e.g. packed bed to separate VOC, the adsorbent hollow fibre has exhibited advantages in low-pressure drop, easy operation and lower capital cost with high adsorption performance. This research investigates the optimisation and development of single and multi-channel adsorbent hollow fibres to improve the mechanical properties, flexibility, adsorbent loading and enhance adsorption capacity. These fibres are made up of an adsorbent (13X zeolite, HiSiv 1000 zeolite powder and HiSiv 3000 zeolite powder) held together with a polymer (polyethersulfone) binder through wet/wet spinning followed by a phase inversion process. Single adsorbent hollow fibres were optimised by changing the ratio of adsorbent to the polymer, the viscosity of polymer/adsorbent/solvent mixtures, the pre-treatment temperature and by adding a pore former. This optimal recipe of polymer/adsorbent/solvent mixtures was then used to fabricate tri-lobe and hexagonal multi-channel adsorbent hollow fibre. The adsorption performance and mechanical properties of these multi-channel fibres were compared to those of the single adsorbent hollow fibres. Dynamic adsorption challenges were carried out using n-butane as the VOC model gas to provide breakthrough curves using a flame ionisation detector (FID) hydrocarbon analyser. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to characterise the surface and porous structures of the different adsorbent hollow fibres formation. Adsorption isotherm experiments were also used to measure the surface area of adsorbent hollow fibres. In order to understand the transport mechanism of gases through adsorbent hollow fibres, single and multi-channel fibres were modelled using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) using COMSOL software 5.2, thus enabling the prediction of breakthrough time and mass transfer for the new geometries of adsorbent hollow fibre.
Date of Award1 Jul 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorSemali Perera (Supervisor), John Chew (Supervisor) & Dmitry Lukyanov (Supervisor)


  • Adsorbent hollow fibres
  • Adsorption
  • VOC control
  • CFD Modeling
  • Multi-channel

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