Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

John Weidner

Abstract

Pressure swing adsorption is an effective way to capture CO2 from flue gases in energy plants. Pressure swing adsorption utilizes an adsorbent’s selectivity to a specific compound to remove it from a feed stream. Zeolite 13X was used for this research to obtain a high purity and recovery of CO2 at a higher feed flow than previous research. The first part of the work was to use in house FORTRAN based Dynamic Adsorption Process Simulator (DAPS) that uses the finite difference method and the time adaptive Differential- Algebraic Equation (DAE) solver called DASPK to narrow down appropriate experiment criteria for the custom built 4-bed Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) system.

The second part of the research focused on experimentally confirming the mathematical predictions. Adsorption equilibrium isotherms for CO2 and N2, on zeolite 13X were measured by using a volumetric system from micromeritics ASAP2010. The feed gas considered as a simulated dry flue gas consisting of 15.9% CO2 and balance N2 that was fed at 121 kPa and at 25 °C. Operation pressure range provided by this system is from 0 to 127 KPa. A unique combination of cycle steps consisting of three beds were able to produce high purities (>90%) and high recoveries (>90%) of CO2 in the heavy product. The throughput achieved experimentally was 404 LSTP/hr/kg. The PSA cycle consist of seven different cycle steps; feed (F), heavy reflux (HR), pressure equalization (E), countercurrent blowdown, light reflux purge (LR), and light product pressurization (LPP). The model successfully predicts the pressure and temperature profiles and performance of each experiment.

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