Performance of a vertical fiber membrane aerator

Peter T. Weiss, Bryan T. Oakley, John S Gulliver, Michael J. Semmens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In recent studies at the University of Minnesota, the concept of bubbleless aeration with microporous hollow fiber membranes has been tested. High rates of gas transfer are possible when operated at pressures of up to 3 atmosphere. This paper presents the results of studies conducted on the use of hollow fiber membranes in a passive aeration system. Hollow fiber membranes were potted at one end and connected to an oxygen supply. The other end of each fiber was individually sealed and the fibers were installed for cross flow in a flume. The gas-filled fibers tend to rise vertically due to buoyancy, while bending downstream due to the drag force exerted by the flowing water. This cross-flow configuration resulted in high rates of gas transfer with no supplemental energy input. Gas transfer performance data and a mathematical model that predicts oxygen transfer rates are presented for vertically mounted fibers in cross flow. In addition, factors that may influence the gas transfer performance of the membranes in practical applications are discussed. Two possible applications for passive hollow fiber membrane aeration are considered, and the use of membranes is contrasted with traditional methods of aeration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAeration Technology
PublisherPubl by ASME
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)0791813703
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994
EventProceedings of the 1994 ASME Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting. Part 9 (of 18) - Lake Tahoe, NV, USA
Duration: Jun 19 1994Jun 23 1994


OtherProceedings of the 1994 ASME Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting. Part 9 (of 18)
CityLake Tahoe, NV, USA


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