Analysis of Equilibrium PSA Performance with an Analytical Solution

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Abstract

Five-step PSA cycles consisting of pressurization with product, adsorption, co-current depressurization, blowdown, and purge steps have been analyzed with equilibrium model assuming uncoupled linear isotherms and isothermal condition. Unlike the previous models, the proposed model is not restricted to the operating conditions that ensure a complete shock transition of concentration profile at the end of the high pressure adsorption step. The operating conditions could have two classifications: one is utilizing the column completely before blowdown, and the other is not. As the selectivity increases, it is more difficult to utilize the column completely before the blowdown step. There is an optimum co-current depressurization pressure which maximizes the recovery at the given extent of purge. The optimum co-current depressurization pressure decreases as the purge quantity decreases. On the less selective adsorbent, the recovery at the optimum co-current depressurization pressure increases with the decrease of purge quantity without much sacrifice of the throughput. But, on the highly selective adsorbent, there is an extent of purge and corresponding value of cocurrent depressurization pressure below which the recovery is not greatly improved while the throughput decreases rapidly, which limits the number of pressure equalization steps can be included.

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