A Simple Analysis for Gas Separation Membrane Experiments


  • Richard A. Davis University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Orville C. Sandall University of California


A simple analysis of a membrane gas separation experiment is described that is based on an assumption of a linear function of trans-membrane partial pressure with retentate flow rate. This assumption permits the use of logarithmic mean driving force for gas permeation. Undergraduate students with the aid of modern computational software readily solve the resulting algebraic model equations. The Chen approximation to the log-mean is recommended to avoid divergence in the iterative solution to the nonlinear equations. Sample calculations are included.

Author Biographies

Richard A. Davis, University of Minnesota Duluth

Richard A. Davis is Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He earned his BS in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University and his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He teaches a variety of courses in transport phenomena and separations, and his current research interests include process modeling and optimization.

Orville C. Sandall, University of California

Orville C. Sandall is Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a graduate of the University of Alberta (BSc and MSc) and the University of California, Berkeley (PhD). His teaching and research interests are in the areas of mass transfer and separation processes.