Current hollow fiber contactors are often designed to maximize mass transfer per volume. Such designs make sense for applications in heart-lung machines but not for commercial membrane separations. For commercial separations, better designs minimize the cost per mass transferred. The implications of minimizing the cost per mass transferred, explored here for simple contactor designs, are optimum fiber sizes around 100-200 μm. At smaller fiber sizes, pumping costs are excessive; at larger fiber sizes, membrane costs are unnecessarily high.
- hollow fiber membranes
- microporous membranes