Our 3M™ Liqui-Cel™ EXF Series Membrane Contactors transfer gases to and from compatible liquid streams. These membrane contactors utilize a microporous hollow fiber membrane inside a device designed to enhance flow dynamics and take full advantage of the large membrane surface area for stripping dissolved gases. With proper system design, ultra-low levels of dissolved gas can be achieved.
Why Dissolved Gas Control is Critical
Dissolved gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide can cause any number of difficulties in industrial processes. They can oxidize and corrode metal piping and critical equipment, resulting in extra costs and downtime for maintenance. In industries such as semiconductor and display panel manufacturing – which depend on ultra-pure, de-aerated water – dissolved gases can affect both production efficiency and product quality. Deionization by ion exchange columns is a technology commonly used in the production of high purity water. Carbon dioxide removal can help reduce operating costs and chemical use by reducing the frequency of bed regeneration cycles. In electrodeionization (EDI), water quality may be improved by reducing the CO2 load that could hinder removal of target species, such as silica and boron. Oxygen in beverages promotes oxidation and reduces product quality, while other gases, like CO2 and N2 impact the beverage’s sparkle taste, and texture and need to be precisely controlled.
About 3M™ Liqui-Cel™ Membrane Contactors
3M™ Liqui-Cel™ Membrane Contactors provide efficient dissolved gas control in a compact design. Capable of adding gases to or removing dissolved gases from compatible liquid streams, these gas transfer devices utilize hollow fiber membrane technology that may help facilities around the world improve operating efficiency, performance and protect product quality.
The presence of dissolved gases, such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and other non-condensable gases can cause a number of difficulties. Process interruptions, yield loss, corrosion, surface defects, unreliable measurement readings, poor product quality, higher operating costs and equipment inefficiency are a few examples of challenges faced by various industries when dissolved gases and air bubbles are not consistently controlled.
The 3M™ Liqui-Cel™ Membrane Contactor product offering includes products made with various materials of construction and a wide-range of flow capacities to meet process and application requirements. Their modular nature makes them easy to incorporate into systems with lower weight and less space than other conventional technologies, such as vacuum towers or forced draft deaerators. 3M™ Liqui-Cel™ Membrane Contactors do not require chemicals in operation and can be an effective alternative to chemical treatment options, such as oxygen scavengers in boiler feedwater or caustic/acid in reverse osmosis (RO) and other deionization systems. This may be particularly advantageous for facilities that want to reduce on-site chemical use as part of their sustainability goals.
How 3M™ Liqui-Cel™ Membrane Contactors Membrane Contactors Work
3M™ Liqui-Cel™ Membrane Contactors utilize microporous or non-porous, semi permeable hollow fiber membrane that is placed inside a contactor housing. In our EXF, SP, and MM-0.5x1 and MM-0.75x1 series membrane contactors, liquid flows around the outside of the hollow fiber membrane while a vacuum and/or sweep gas is applied to the inside of the hollow fiber during operation. In our other MM series membrane contactors liquid and gas flows are opposite: liquid flows inside of the hollow fiber membrane while a vacuum and/or sweep gas is applied to the outside of the hollow fiber.
Applying a vacuum or sweep gas creates a difference in the gas concentration levels between the inside (lumenside) and outside (shellside) of the hollow fiber membrane. This concentration difference is what drives rapid and efficient dissolved gas transfer.