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Optimized Hollow Fiber Sorbents and Pressure Swing Adsorption Process for H2 Recovery

Ohs, Burkhard, Lohaus, Johannes, Marten, Dennis, Hannemann-Tamás, Ralf, Krieger, Alexandra, Wessling, Matthias
Industrial & engineering chemistry process design and development 2018 v.57 no.14 pp. 5093-5105
adsorption, carbon dioxide, cellulose acetate, hydrogen, process design, sorbents, zeolites
Hollow fiber sorbents have overcome many limitations of packed-bed adsorbers. To fully exploit their potential, holistic design methods are crucial, but overall optimization strategies are lacking and are presented here for the first time. To showcase the methodology, we investigated the separation of H₂ and CO₂ using hollow fiber sorbents made of zeolites and cellulose acetate. The specific purification costs could be reduced by 13% using the optimization methodology. The purification costs rise from 0.65 €/kg to 0.85 €/kg with increasing product purity from 99% to 99.99%. An increase of the adsorption capacity by 50% only decreases the cost by 5%. Yet, the major conclusion relates to the hollow fiber dimensions, which only change slightly with product requirements and sorption capacities. The optimal inner and outer fiber diameter are in the range of 0.33–0.38 mm as well as 0.80–0.91 mm, respectively. The optimal fiber length varies between 98.7 and 103.1 cm. Thus, we conclude that the identified fiber design is close to a generic optimum.