Evaluation of simplified pressure swing adsorption cycles for bio-methane production
Pressure swing adsorption (PSA) is a mature technique for biogas upgrading. However, it constitutes the most expensive step to obtain fuel-quality bio-methane, particularly in small-scale units. To reduce the cost of upgrading in small-scale plants, we have evaluated different PSA cycles with two and three columns (less than commercial units). An equalization tank was used to perform one asynchronous pressure equalization step and keep the process fed continuous even in the case of using two columns. The effect of the purge step was also evaluated. Carbon molecular sieve was used as adsorbent. The feed composition was 40% CO2/60% CH4 and pressure swinging between 5 and 0.1 bar in the adsorption and blowdown steps, respectively. Four performance indicators (methane purity and recovery, productivity and energy consumption) were used to evaluate the PSA cycles. The mathematical model could predict the experimental PSA performance. Bio-methane with purity higher than 97.5% (specification) and recovery higher than 90% was obtained experimentally using a PSA with two columns and an equalization tank. When a third column is used (implementing an additional pressure equalization), the recovery increases in approx. 4% showing the importance of pressure equalization to reduce the methane slip.
KeywordsCarbon dioxide Pressure swing adsorption Modelling Biogas upgrading Bio-methane
This work was partly funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark (IFD) under File No. 5157-00008B, HiGradeGas (http://www.higradegas.eu). R. L. S. C. thank to CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel) for the financial support.
- Bhatt, T.S., Storti, G., Denayer, J.F.M., Rota, R.: Optimal design of dual-reflux pressure swing adsorption units via equilibrium theory: process configurations employing heavy gas for pressure swing. Chem. Eng. J. 311, 385–406 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2016.11.111 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Guérin de Montgareuil, P., Domine, D.: Process for separating a binary gaseous mixture by adsorption. US Patent 3,155,468, 3 Nov 1964Google Scholar
- IPCC: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Intergov. Panel Clim. Chang. Work. Gr. I Contrib. to IPCC Fifth Assess. Rep. (AR5)(Cambridge Univ Press. New York). 1535 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1029/2000JD000115
- Krishnamurthy, R., Lerner, S.L., MacLean, D.L.: PSA Multicomponent separation utilizing tank equalization. US Patent 4,816,039, 28 Mar 1989Google Scholar
- Skarstrom, C.: Method and apparatus for fractionating gaseous mixtures by adsorption. US Patent 2,944,627, 12 Jul 1960Google Scholar
- Stark, T.M.: Gas separation by adsorption process. US Patent 3,252,268, 24 May 1966Google Scholar