Effects of capillary condensation on adsorption and thermal desorption dynamics of water in zeolite 13X and layered beds

Hyungwoong Ahn, Chang Ha Lee

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The effects of capillary condensation on the adsorption and thermal desorption dynamics of water in zeolite 13X beds and layered beds with zeolite 13X/silica gel or zeolite 13X/alumina were experimentally and theoretically studied. As the equilibrium isotherm of water on zeolite 13X pellet was found to be most favorable at a low relative humidity and indicated capillary condensation at a high relative humidity, it was possible to construct a non-isothermal model that included capillary condensation and that could successfully predict plateaus of temperature and concentration profiles in thermal regeneration. In adsorption breakthrough, by using a feed in the capillary condensation range of the isotherm on zeolite 13X, the breakthrough curve showed a shock wave in the low concentration and a proportionate pattern in the high concentration. In thermal desorption breakthrough, the desorbed water at the upper part of the bed was re-adsorbed at the lower part of the bed, and that re-adsorption mainly occurred in the capillary condensation range of the isotherm. Therefore, even though an adsorption was performed at a feed in the favorable range of the isotherm, and could be well predicted with type I isotherm, its desorption dynamics should be predicted by using the isotherm model with its consideration of capillary condensation. The layered bed with silica gel or alumina did not have any advantage over the zeolite 13X bed with respect to adsorption breakthrough performance. However, compared to the zeolite 13X bed, the complete regeneration time in the layered bed was drastically shortened due to a greater variation of the amount of equilibrium adsorption of water under temperature on both silica gel and alumina. In addition, since an increase in temperature led to a greater decrease of the amount of equilibrium adsorption of water on silica gel than on alumina, a layered bed with silica gel obviously could be regenerated more efficiently than a layered bed with alumina.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2727-2743
Number of pages17
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jul 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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