Membrane gas absorption (MGA) is one of the most attractive technologies among the osmotically driven membrane processes because of its configurational advantages with respect to the conventional absorption systems that use packed bed columns for different industrial applications. Nowadays, membrane gas absorption is used in industrial wastewater treatment, CO2 absorption from greenhouse gases, treatment of flue-gas and off-gas streams, which contain SO2, H2S, NH3 or HCl, upgrading and desulphurization of biogas from anaerobic digesters and landfills and acid gas removal of natural gas and olefin-paraffin separation in the petrochemical industry, among other applications. In this framework, the advantages of membrane gas absorption over packed bed processes are related to the decreasing of installation surface requirements through compact process design and easy operation modes. These aspects will increase the applications of these types of processes in the mid-term. Nevertheless, the main design criteria of this technology have been poorly addressed in the literature. This chapter summarizes the fundamental aspects of transport phenomena that drive these processes, as well as the main conceptual aspects, to propose a correct design through an overview of the current status of this technology and its potential applications, challenges and future trends.
Part of the book: Osmotically Driven Membrane Processes