(538e) Process Development and Economic Evaluation of An Industrial Scale O2 Production Plant Using a Novel Metal-Organic-Framework (MOF) Based O2-Selective Sorbent | AIChE

(538e) Process Development and Economic Evaluation of An Industrial Scale O2 Production Plant Using a Novel Metal-Organic-Framework (MOF) Based O2-Selective Sorbent


Konda, N. V. S. N. M. - Presenter, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Siefert, N., National Energy Technology Laboratory

A new microporous MOF-based sorbent (Fe2(dobdc)) is being developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) to separate O2 from air [1]. This sorbent differs from traditional O2 producing sorbents in that it preferentially binds O2 over N2 at temperatures much higher than the operating temperature of cryogenic systems that are currently used in industry for large-scale O2 production. Subsequently, such materials could potentially reduce energy and capital costs of O2 production.  Hence, the purpose of this study is to develop a system model for an O2 separation sorbent and carry out a detailed cost analysis to evaluate its economic potential. Such systems, if found to be economically competitive, may be used in pre-combustion carbon capture, medical-grade O2 production or other industrial applications where high purity O2is required.

A vacuum swing adsorption (VSA) based process was designed; it consists of a pre-processing section, a vacuum swing adsorption (VSA) cycle, and a post-processing section. Adsorption isotherms were modeled based on the experimental data for pure component adsorption for O2 and N2 (Bloch et al., 2011). Overall, two passes were required to produce industrial grade O2. In Pass 1, around 50% pure O2 can be produced (from dry air as feed). In Pass 2, more than 95% pure O2 can be produced (using 50% pure O2from Pass 1 as the feed). The VSA cycle was modeled in Aspen Adsorption and pre- and post-processing sections are modeled in Aspen HYSYS.

Using the above models as the basis, a detailed cost analysis was carried out. Capital costs are computed based on correlations from standard engineering textbooks [2] andonline resources [3]. A detailed breakdown of the costs revealed economic-bottlenecks that could improve overall economic potential of the process. More details on the process that was developed, the modeling effort, and the economic evaluation will be discussed.


  1. Bloch E. D., L. J. Murray, W. L. Queen, S. Chavan, S. N. Maximoff, J. P. Bigi, R. Krishna, V. K. Peterson, F. Grandjean, G. J. Long, B. Smit, S. Bordiga, C. M. Brown, and J. R. Long. “Selective Binding of O2 over N2 in a Redox-Active Metal-Organic Framework with Open Iron(II) Coordination Sites,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. vol. 133, pp. 14814-14822, 2011.

  1. Seider, W. D., Seader, J. D., Lewin, D. R. and Widagdo S. Product and Process Design Principles: Synthesis, Analysis and Evaluation. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2009.
  2. www.matche.com

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PS: Presenting Author (i.e., N.V.S.N. Murthy Konda)'s current affiliation: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA