Selective removal of SO2 from coal-fired flue gas by alkaline solvents using a membrane contactor

Sang Hyun Joo, Umair H. Bhatti, Hyung Jin Park, Dae Heon Jeong, Il Hyun Baek, Sung Chan Nam*, Ki Bong Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The presence of SO2 in coal-fired flue gas has adverse effects on the amine solutions used for CO2 capture. In addition, SO2 emissions in the atmosphere are also a primary source of pollution. In this study, the SO2 removal efficiency of three aqueous alkaline absorbents NaOH, Na2SO3, and CaO was studied using a membrane contactor. The morphology of the used membrane was examined using SEM and contact angle characterization techniques. Gas removal efficiency was studied within a feed gas flow rate of 0.5–5 m3/h, absorbent flow rate of 5–100 mL/min, and absorbent concentration of 0–0.01 mol/L. The gathered results showed that aqueous CaO has superior gas removal performance. It achieved a SO2 removal efficiency of 99.99 % at a concentration of 0.0025 mol/L, while the aqueous NaOH and Na2SO3 absorbents achieved 99.99 % removal efficiency at concentrations of 0.001 mol/L. Through comprehensive experimental work, the optimum operating parameters needed to achieve maximum SO2 removal efficiency were also determined. Furthermore, the durability of the membrane was tested in a four week continuous gas removal test and SEM images were recorded weekly to observe module morphology. The obtained results indicated that the membrane was quite durable and did not deteriorate noticeably.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107772
JournalChemical Engineering and Processing - Process Intensification
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Alkaline absorbents
  • CaO
  • Membrane contactor
  • NaOH
  • SO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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