(239d) Improved Kinetic Pressure Swing Adsorption Process

Bhadra, S. J., Air Products and Chemicals
Whitley, R. D., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc
Arslan, E., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
Wu, D., Air Products
With the advent of new zeolitic kinetic adsorbents having attractive rate and kinetic selectivity, separations using such zeolitic kinetic adsorbents for removing oxygen from argon, become more efficient. Standard kinetic PSA processes, such as those disclosed in US Patent 7,501,009, benefit from replacing carbon molecular sieve with these adsorbents. Improved kinetic PSA processes, such as those disclosed in US 7,645,324, where the adsorbents have been converted into laminate structure to reduce deleterious effect of mass transfer resistance and flow friction pressure drop, are able to take full advantage of the fast kinetics of such adsorbents.

Even with the improved adsorbents, traditional kinetic PSA processes still suffer from low recovery when high product purity is required. While the laminate configuration can achieve high productivity, it introduces significant amounts of void volume into the bed that can further reduce overall recovery.

In this work we will discuss the limitations of both types of processes with these adsorbents and how to meet the needs of high recovery and productivity to match the adsorbents’ potential.