Chemical reaction in breakthrough separations (in collaboration with Shell Research and Technology Centre Amsterdam)



The chemical industry consumes significant amounts of energy, a large fraction of which is used for separation of various reactants products. The main workhorse for these separations is distillation, which is rather energy-inefficient for the separation of gas mixtures. Therefore, it may be more energy efficient to perform (some of) these separations with adsorbent materials, which have a strong affinity for one component over the other(s) and thus selectively adsorb one the components. Separation processes with the use of adsorption are becoming more and more popular. It is mainly due to the recent sharp growth in the number of potential adsorbents. These adsorbates can also provide a suitable environment for chemical reactions. In this way, an undesirable component ca be adsorbed and transformed into a favourable/less harmful product. 


One of the most efficient ways to find the optimal operating conditions and improve the design of the adsorption columns to potentially reduce energy consumption further is modelling the adsorption process. We have recently developed a mathematical model to predict the adsorption of gas mixtures passing through a packed bed. However, currently this model lacks the consideration of chemical reactions. In this project, we will investigate the effect of chemical reactions on breakthrough simulations by adapting the aforementioned model. After successful implementation of chemical reactions in this model, we will have a unique model that can be used to screen and find the new materials to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the adsorption processes.

For information, please contact: 

Ali Poursaeidesfahani