We developed and used steady-state permeation tests and a mathematical model to determine the H 2 permeabilities of three hollow fibers (composite, polyester, and polypropylene) commonly used in the H 2-based membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR). The H 2 permeabilities spanned a wide range: 1.6×10 -6, 1.8×10 -7, and 6.6×10 -8 m 3 H 2 @ standard temperature and pressurem membrane thickness/m 2 hollow fiber surface areadbar for the composite, polypropylene, and polyester hollow fibers, respectively; this represents a ratio of the maximum H 2 flux for composite:polypropylene:polyester hollow fibers=32:3.3:1. The H 2 permeabilities were then used to correlate hollow-fiber type to contaminant-removal flux in previous MBfR experiments. Only the experiments with composite hollow fibers were not routinely limited by H 2 delivery, although fouling by mineral precipitates lowered the H 2 flux in some cases. Since existing contaminant-removal data for the polyester hollow fibers were not adequate, we did special experiments to investigate the effect of H 2 pressure on contaminant removal in the MBfR with the polyester hollow fibers. We confirmed that this hollow fiber was operated at its maximum H 2-delivery capacity based on its H 2 permeability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-183
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
StatePublished - Jul 15 2012


  • Hydrogen permeability
  • Membrane biofilm reactor
  • Membrane fouling
  • Membrane material

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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