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Simulations of Pressure Swing Adsorption of Methane - Carbon Dioxide System

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Separation of carbon dioxide and methane for the upgrade of natural gas through use of pressure swing adsorption could potentially save large amounts of energy from the current, costly process of cryogenic distillation and provides greater cost effectiveness for carbon

Separation of carbon dioxide and methane for the upgrade of natural gas through use of pressure swing adsorption could potentially save large amounts of energy from the current, costly process of cryogenic distillation and provides greater cost effectiveness for carbon dioxide capture, and provide larger product flowrates than membrane permeation separation. The purpose of this study is to analyze the effects of varying initial conditions of a MatLab simulation, courtesy of Mai Xu, a graduate student at ASU, designed to use Langmuir isotherms, mass transfer equations, and adsorbent and gas properties to simulate a pressure swing adsorption process with a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide gas feed. The effects that will be varied are the adsorption/desorption time, pressurization/depressurization time, adsorption feed composition, desorption purge composition, adsorption pressure, desorption pressure, adsorption flow rate, and desorption flow rate. The study found that the trends in methane purity and production generally follow the trends predicted by literature and relevant equations, with pressure boundaries being the largest impacting factor. In addition there was a markedly inverse correlation between purity of methane product and the productivity of the system. This trend was only violated in one instance, at very low vacuum pressure during desorption, which could indicate an area that requires further study. Overall, the main areas of improvement in pressure swing adsorption for this system would be improving the selectivity of adsorption of carbon dioxide over methane, which requires improvement and change of the adsorbent, and more extreme vacuum pressures during desorption, both of which will increase methane yield and reduce operating costs.

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2018-05