Development of a Simulation System for Membrane Modular Design

Takurou NISHIMURA and Kimito FUNATSU*

Dept. of Chemical System Engineering, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongo Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

(Received: December 14, 2004; Accepted for publication: February 25, 2005; Published on Web: April 18, 2005)

A gas separation membrane module which consists of three engines, was designed. The engine for creating a separation modular structure generates the arrangement coordinates data of a separation unit by GUI, and generates the input file for hydrogen recovery rate calculation. Since it can respond to a cylinder or square pillar type module outward form and can respond to unit arrangement of a triangular lattice or a square lattice, the output of the unit arrangement coordinates of general multi-pipe set structures (separation, extraction, heat exchanger, etc.) is possible. The engine for performing hydrogen recovery rate calculation applies a commercial computer fluid dynamics (CFD) package, receives input data from a modular structure creation portion, and outputs a convergence calculation result to a file. The engine for optimizing a modular structure has managed the input data and the result for the recovery rate calculation stored in the data base, proposes the parameter for structure optimization using a genetic algorithm, and determines the data set for performing the next recovery calculation. In the design of a separation module, it became clear that a genetic algorithm can optimize efficiently the size of a separation membrane element or its arrangement.

Keywords: Gas separation membrane, Optimization, Computational fluid dynamics, Genetic algorithm, Structure design


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