Sahand University of Technology
The goals of this work are to synthesize and evaluate the potential of hydroxy sodalite membrane in the separation of helium from natural gas. Sodalite membrane was synthesized via direct hydrothermal method (conventional heating) on tubular alumina support. It was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and single gas permeation using helium and N2. After drying of the membrane, permeances of single gases were found to be of the order Helium > CH4 > N2 > CO2 at low temperatures and the membrane was impermeable to N2, CO2 and CH4 at high temperatures (>85 °C). In the investigated range of temperature 35-180 °C, membrane performance tended to high selectivity. The maximum separation factors (helium/N2 ~ 8.8, helium/CO2 ~ 16.5 and helium/CH4 ~ 5) with acceptable permeance were observed at 85 °C.