The major mechanisms of gas permeation through solid membranes are described and the applicable equations describing the permeance are presented. The mechanisms depend on the relative size of the permeating molecules and the diameter of the pores. As pore size decreases the operable mechanisms are Hagen-Pouiselle flow, Knudsen diffusion, surface diffusion, gas-translation, and finally solid-state diffusion. The Hagen-Pouiselle mechanism involves flow through large pores, while the Knudsen mechanism involves collision of molecules with the walls of pores of intermediate size. Surface diffusion deals with movement of molecules trapped in the potential field of the walls of pores of relatively small size, while gas-translation involves molecules that can escape the field, but are constrained by the small pores. Finally, solid-state transport comprises dissolution and transport by diffusion within the solid. These mechanisms are illustrated for hydrogen permeance with the use of two membranes, an alumina membrane with intermediate sized pores and a silica on alumina membrane of dense structure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology