Journal of Membrane Science, Vol.323, No.2, 271-277, 2008
Analytical theory for permeation of condensable gases in a nanopore
The permeation of a condensable gas mixture in a pressure gradient is examined within a dynamic density functional theory (DDFT). The non-equilibrium density and flux profiles of gas molecules trapped within a nanopore are calculated for each species as a function of feed gas density. Because of important fluid-fluid interaction close to condensation the flux and density gradients are not related by constant transport diffusivities with the thermodynamic correction of uniform density. For long narrow pores the relation of the selectivity to the equilibrium adsorption isotherms is validated. Improved separation is achieved by combining preferential wall interaction and advantageous attraction between gas molecules of different species and examples are discussed. Results from experiments and simulations of permeation in binary mixtures near condensation are still rare and the theory provides a simple basis to study qualitative trends using known parameters. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.