(213c) Methane Recovery By Dual Reflux Pressure Swing Adsorption | AIChE

(213c) Methane Recovery By Dual Reflux Pressure Swing Adsorption


LI, G. - Presenter, The University of Western Australia
May, E. F., University of Western Australia

Recovery by Dual Reflux Pressure Swing Adsorption

Gang Li1, Thomas Saleman1, Yechun Zhang2, Eric May1

1 Centre for Energy, School of
Mechanical & Chemical Engineering, The University
of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009, Australia.

2 Department of Chemical and
Materials Engineering, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland
1142, New Zealand

Email of presenting author: Kevin.li@uwa.edu.au

Methane accounts
for the second largest anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission and it is 21 times
more potent than carbon dioxide. A significant amount of methane is emitted to
the atmosphere as a dilute vent in the energy sector. It will be a great
advantage if this methane could be captured and utilized as a fuel (e.g. for
lean combustion engines) while dramatically minimizing its emission foot print.
Here we present an effective separation of a binary mixture of methane and
nitrogen with a high performance dual reflux pressure swing adsorption
apparatus (DRPSA, Figure 1) by running the stripping and rectifying cycles
simultaneously. Feed gases with a broad methane composition range of 2.2 %
to 74.4 % were experimented using novel ionic liquidic
zeolite adsorbents with a pressure ratio of merely 3.6. We show this process
was able to enrich the 2.2% dilute methane by more than 23 times into a methane
rich product while producing a clean nitrogen vent stream containing less than
100 ppmv methane. A trade-off was observed between
achieving a high nitrogen purity in the light product
and a high methane enrichment in the heavy product. This work suggests DRPSA
can efficiently capture dilute methane at relatively low energy consumption and
significantly reduce CH4 emission, showing a great commercialization
potential in gas industry.

columns manifold_wired

Figure  SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 1. Picture of the
dual reflux pressure swing apparatus at UWA showing the interconnected two
columns and the feed manifold.