(647d) On the Use of Absolute and Excess Isotherms in Adsorption Processes: H2 PSA As a Case Study.
AIChE Annual Meeting
Thursday, November 17, 2022 - 1:18pm to 1:34pm
The perceived advantage in measuring and reporting excess isotherms has driven the development of adsorption dynamics models where the mass balance is adapted to allow the use the parameters resulting from the direct fit of the excess isotherms.
This study explores the implications of using this approach compared to the rigorous one where a thermodynamically consistent model based on the absolute adsorbed amount is used. We apply both methods to the case study of a H2 PSA from steam methane reforming as this is one of the separations where the distinction between absolute and excess adsorbed amounts is significant2. Production of ultrapure H2 (>99.9% mol) is in fact a very challenging separation where model accuracy is key for the reliability of process predictions4.
All fundamental adsorbent quantities (porosities, densities) as well as equilibrium isotherms were measured experimentally in our laboratory to minimize the uncertainty of the model comparisons. High pressure isotherms for H2, CO2, CH4 and N2 on the NIST NaY reference material RM88505,6 were measured using our custom-made Adsorption Differential Volumetric Apparatus (ADVA). The resulting excess and absolute adsorption isotherms at different temperatures, fitted using a Langmuir model, were used in the dynamic simulation of the H2 PSA process. In addition, high-pressure binary H2/CO2 breakthrough experiments were carried out to validate the accuracy of the model predictions. Finally, full process simulations were implemented to compare the two methodologies in terms of the predicted purity and recovery for the separation.
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