Separation of methane and nitrogen by adsorption on carbon molecular sieve

Simone Cavenati, Carlos A. Grande, Alírio E. Rodrigues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Adsorption equilibrium of methane and nitrogen on CMS 3K from Takeda Corp. were gravimetrically measured at 298, 308, and 323 K and at pressures up to 2000 kPa. The most adsorbed gas is methane followed by nitrogen. The adsorption loading at 550 kPa and 308 K is 1.73 mol/kg for methane and 0.91 mol/kg for nitrogen. Experimental data were fitted with the multisite Langmuir model. Single component uptake of these gases at low pressures was used to determine the adsorption kinetics. Adsorption of nitrogen is much faster than methane, although this gas is preferentially adsorbed. The adsorption rate of both gases was controlled by a surface barrier resistance at the mouth of the micropore combined with micropore diffusion. Breakthrough curves of pure gases and their binary mixtures were measured at ambient temperature. A biLDF (Linear Driving Force) model was used to predict the fixedbed behavior. Large differences in the adsorption kinetics were observed: at 308 K the LDF constant ratio was K ,N 2 /K ,CH 4 =133, although because of much higher adsorption of methane, the overall kinetic selectivity was 1.9 at 308 K. The data obtained in this work can be used for adsorption separation processes modeling for methane purification from nitrogencontaminated streams.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2721-2743
Number of pages23
JournalSeparation Science and Technology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Filtration and Separation
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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