The demand for clean energy sources has made H2 recovery from various lean hydrogen mixtures increasingly attractive. In this study, parallel and series pressure swing adsorption (PSA) processes were investigated experimentally and theoretically, and > 99% pure H2 was produced from a lean hydrogen mixture (H2:CO:N2:CO2 = 19.9:0.1:44.6:35.4 mol%) at 10 bar. A mathematical model for a PSA process using activated carbon and zeolite 13X was simultaneously validated with results from breakthrough experiments and a parallel two-bed PSA process. The parallel two-bed PSA process using a layered bed (lower bed: activated carbon, upper bed: zeolite 13X) experimentally produced H2 with a purity of 94.6–98.3% and a recovery of 33.5–63.2%; CO was not detected in the H2 product. In the parallel four-bed PSA process, the H2 recovery was drastically increased to 77.3% due to an additional pressure equalization step, but the increase in H2 purity was minute. The series PSA process, which was divided into the bulk separator and the purifier, was theoretically studied under various operating conditions. The series three- and four-bed PSA processes could produce H2 with over > 99% purity and a recovery of 62.478% and 82.643%, respectively, due to the additional pressure equalization step and the utilization of blowdown gas. The parallel four-bed PSA process showed the highest H2 productivity (33.58 molH2 kgads−1 day−1), while the series four-bed PSA process achieved an H2 productivity of 23.96 molH2 kgads−1 day−1 with > 99% H2 purity.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT. (2019K1A4A7A03113187)
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering