Gas separation by pressure swing adsorption: A pore-diffusion model for bulk separation



An experimental and theoretical study is performed for bulk separation of gas mixture by pressure swing adsorption, a process widely used commercially for gas purification. By cycling the pressure of a bed of activated carbon between 3 and up to 500 psig (0.021 to 3.445 MPa), at the ambient temperature, a 50/50 H2/CH4 mixture is separated into two products with well over 90% purity and recovery at high throughputs. All process characteristics can be predicted by a pore-diffusion model. A fundamental understanding of the function of each step in the cyclic process is given.