Additive Manufacturing to Improve Cryogenic Air Separation | AIChE

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Additive Manufacturing to Improve Cryogenic Air Separation

Additive manufacturing enables the construction of internal structures that can intensify and improve air separation processes such as cryogenic distillation.

Air separation is the process of separating air into its primary components, typically to provide concentrated streams of oxygen and nitrogen. Various processes are currently used for air separation, including cryogenic distillation, pressure-swing adsorption, and membrane separation (1–3). Adsorption and membrane-based processes are often used at smaller scales but are generally less energy efficient than large cryogenic distillation plants.

The collection and purification of various gas species present in air is important to many industries and industrial applications. Due to expensive transport costs, there is a need for small-scale, low-cost air separation unit plants near end users. This article explores the process intensification (PI) of cryogenic distillation using additive manufacturing to construct a small, energy-efficient air-separation system...

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