Comprehensive modeling and CFD simulation of absorption of CO2 and H2S by MEA solution in hollow fiber membrane reactors



A comprehensive mathematical model has been developed for the simulation of simultaneous chemical absorption of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide by means of Monoethanolamine (MEA) aqueous solution in hollow fiber membrane reactors is described. In this regard, a perfect model considering the entrance regions of momentum, energy, and mass transfers was developed. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques were applied to solve governing equations, and the model predictions were validated against experimental data reported in the literature and excellent agreement was found. Effects of different disturbances on the dynamic behavior of the reactor were investigated. Moreover, effects of various parameters such as wetting fraction, gas and liquid inlet velocities, inlet temperature of the solvent, MEA concentration, and CO2 and H2S compositions were carefully studied. It was found that for large values of gas velocity or small values of liquid velocity, the thermal energy equation can play an important role in the model predictions. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J 60: 657–672, 2014