Journal of Membrane Science, Vol.320, No.1-2, 390-400, 2008
The upper bound revisited
The empirical upper bound relationship for membrane separation of gases initially published in 1991 has been reviewed with the myriad of data now presently available. The upper bound correlation follows the relationship P-i = ka(ij)(n), where P-i is the permeability of the fast gas, alpha(ij) (P-i/P-j) is the separation factor, k is referred to as the "front factor" and n is the slope of the log-log plot of the noted relationship. Below this line on a plot of log aij versus log P-i, virtually all the experimental data points exist. In spite of the intense investigation resulting in a much larger clataset than the original correlation, the upper bound position has had only minor shifts in position for many gas pairs. Where more significant shifts are observed, they are almost exclusively due to data now in the literature on a series of perfluorinated polymers and involve many of the gas pairs comprising He. The shift observed is primarily due to a change in the front factor, k, whereas the slope of the resultant upper bound relationship remains similar to the prior data correlations. This indicates a different solubility selectivity relationship for perfluorinated polymers compared to hydrocarbon/aromatic polymers as has been noted in the literature. Two additional upper bound relationships are included in this analysis; CO2/N-2 and N-2/CH4. In addition to the perfluorinated polymers resulting in significant upper bound shifts, minor shifts were observed primarily due to polymers exhibiting rigid, glassy structures including ladder-type polymers. The upper bound correlation can be used to qualitatively determine where the permeability process changes from solution-diffusion to Knudsen diffusion. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.