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Adsorptive separation in the enhancement of butene dehydrogenation


Fixed-bed columns containing solid catalysts and adsorbents were employed for simultaneous reaction and separation. The models developed for butene dehydrogenation reaction were validated with experimental data. The model was then employed for variable bed configurations with and without the effect of pressure and vacuum swing reaction (PSR and VSR). The models for the mass and momentum transfer in the catalyst bed and adsorber were solved using orthogonal collocation within the method of lines. The reactor/separator performances were tested for beds with varying numbers of layers of catalysts and adsorbents arranged sequentially. The reaction columns behaved as reactor/separators in series. As the number of layers increased, a homogeneous distribution of the catalyst and adsorbent was approached in the limit. These configurations with variable catalyst/adsorbent distributions were investigated in terms of product purity, selectivity, conversion, recovery and yield. Improved reactor performance was observed with pressure and vacuum swing separation systems and in particular with close to well-mixed reactor/separator configurations.

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b :

langmuir adsorption coefficient, kg/mol

C :

gas phase concentration, mol/cm3

D z :

axial dispersion coefficient, m2/s

G :

purge to feed ratio

K :

mass transfer coefficient, s−1

L :

bed length, m

L C,k :

length of kth catalyst layer

L A,k :

length of kth adsorbent layer

Nc :

number of components

P :

pressure, atm

Pe :

Peclet number \(=\frac{ul}{D_{z}}\)

q :

concentration in the adsorbed phase, mol/kg

r rxn :

rate of reaction, mol/

t :

time, s

u :

inlet gas velocity

\(\overline{v}\) :

dimensionless interstitial fluid velocity \(=\frac{v}{u}\)

x CA :

catalyst/adsorbent volume ratio

x i :

dimensionless solid-phase mole fraction \(=\frac{\overline{q}_{i}}{q_{s}}\)

y :

gas mole fraction

z :

variable for bed axial distance

α i :

dimensionless mass transfer coefficient \(=\frac{k_{i}L}{u}\)

ε :

bed voidage

ρ :

density, kg/m3

υ i :

stoichiometric coefficient of component i

τ :

dimensionless time \(=\frac{tu}{L}\)


mass capacity factor \(=\rho_{ads}(\frac{1-\varepsilon}{\varepsilon})(\frac{q_{is}}{c_{0}})\)

Ads,A :


Cat,C :


feed :

feed stream

i :

denotes gas species

B d :


B :


H2 :


H :

high pressure

L :

low pressure

s :


* :

equilibrium condition


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Correspondence to Vincent G. Gomes.

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Rawadieh, S., Gomes, V.G. Adsorptive separation in the enhancement of butene dehydrogenation. Adsorption 15, 365–380 (2009).

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  • Adsorption
  • Separation
  • Butene dehydrogenation
  • Pressure swing reaction
  • Vacuum swing reaction