Capture of low grade methane from nitrogen gas using dual-reflux pressure swing adsorption

Saleman, Thomas L., Li, Gang (Kevin), Rufford, Thomas E., Stanwix, Paul L., Chan, K. Ida, Huang, Stanley H. and May, Eric F. (2015) Capture of low grade methane from nitrogen gas using dual-reflux pressure swing adsorption. Chemical Engineering Journal, 281 739-748. doi:10.1016/j.cej.2015.07.001


Author Saleman, Thomas L.
Li, Gang (Kevin)
Rufford, Thomas E.
Stanwix, Paul L.
Chan, K. Ida
Huang, Stanley H.
May, Eric F.
Title Capture of low grade methane from nitrogen gas using dual-reflux pressure swing adsorption
Journal name Chemical Engineering Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1385-8947
1873-3212
Publication date 2015-07-06
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.cej.2015.07.001
Volume 281
Start page 739
End page 748
Total pages 10
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
We report a dual-reflux pressure swing adsorption (DR-PSA) apparatus and cycle configuration to recover an enriched methane product from mixtures of methane and nitrogen containing between (2.4 and 49.6) mol% methane. This range of feed gas compositions is representative of some significant greenhouse gas emissions streams containing methane, including vent streams from liquefied natural gas production facilities and ventilation air from coal mining operations. The DR-PSA apparatus was demonstrated with activated carbon Norit RB3 as the adsorbent, operating with a low pressure step of 1.4 bar and a high pressure step of 5 bar. The effect of light reflux flowrate and heavy product draw on methane recovery and nitrogen vent purity were investigated. The DR-PSA experiment with 2.4 mol% methane in the feed produced a methane product containing 35.7 mol% methane, which is approximately a 15 times enrichment, and a clean nitrogen vent containing just 3000 ppmv methane. In another experiment an enrichment ratio of 21 was achieved for a feed containing 2.4 mol% CH4, which is significantly higher than the pressure ratio of 3.6 considered to be the theoretical enrichment limit of conventional PSA cycles. The capture of dilute methane with this DR-PSA process is energetically self-sustainable.
Keyword Greenhouse gas
Methane Emission
Dual reflux pressure swing adsorption
Nitrogen methane separation
Gas purification
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Chemical Engineering Publications
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Created: Wed, 22 Jul 2015, 09:28:06 EST by Dr Thomas Rufford on behalf of School of Chemical Engineering