Pressure Swing Adsorption: A Ubiquitous Gas Separation Technology

AIChE Webinar
Originally delivered Aug 6, 2014

This webinar provides an overview of the ubiquitous pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technology. Adsorption is classified as a unit operation in chemical engineering that exploits the ability of a solid surface to concentrate species selectively from a fluid phase onto its surface. Adsorption processes are ubiquitous throughout the chemical process industries and used extensively for gas or liquid separation and purification.

The focus of this webinar is strictly on gas phase separation and purification by the widely popular PSA process. Commercial PSA processes utilize two or more beds (up to 16 beds so far) that are all interconnected with each bed running the same cycle sequence out of phase with each other. A multi-bed commercial PSA process can be the size of a coffee can or it can be the size of a typical multi-column separation process with height and diameter dimensions on the order of meters.

If there is gas stream that requires separation or purification, no matter the number of components and no matter whether the component(s) of interest is heavy (more strongly adsorbed) or light (less strongly adsorbed), it is a safe bet that a PSA process can be designed to meet the separation performance criteria. The only question is whether the PSA process is economical compared to some other separation process. 

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