Evaluation of simplified pressure swing adsorption cycles for bio-methane production

Rafael L.S. Canevesi, Kari A. Andreassen, Edson A. Silva, Carlos E. Borba, Carlos A. Grande

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Pressure swing adsorption (PSA) is a mature technique for biogas upgrading. However, it constitutes the most expensive step to obtain fuel-quality bio-methane, particularly in small-scale units. To reduce the cost of upgrading in small-scale plants, we have evaluated different PSA cycles with two and three columns (less than commercial units). An equalization tank was used to perform one asynchronous pressure equalization step and keep the process fed continuous even in the case of using two columns. The effect of the purge step was also evaluated. Carbon molecular sieve was used as adsorbent. The feed composition was 40% CO2/60% CH4 and pressure swinging between 5 and 0.1 bar in the adsorption and blowdown steps, respectively. Four performance indicators (methane purity and recovery, productivity and energy consumption) were used to evaluate the PSA cycles. The mathematical model could predict the experimental PSA performance. Bio-methane with purity higher than 97.5% (specification) and recovery higher than 90% was obtained experimentally using a PSA with two columns and an equalization tank. When a third column is used (implementing an additional pressure equalization), the recovery increases in approx. 4% showing the importance of pressure equalization to reduce the methane slip.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)783-793
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 15 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2022-09-13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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