Anatomy of a rapid pressure swing adsorption process performance

Rama Rao Vemula, Mayuresh V. Kothare, Shivaji Sircar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


A detailed numerical study of the individual and cumulative effects of various mass, heat, and momentum transfer resistances, which are generally present inside a practical adiabatic adsorber, on the overall separation performance of a rapid pressure swing adsorption (RPSA) process is performed for production of nearly pure helium gas from an equimolar binary (N2 +He) gas mixture using 5 A zeolite. Column bed size factor (BSF) and helium recovery (R) from the feed gas are used to characterize the separation performances. All practical impediments like column pressure drop, finite gas-solid mass and heat transfer resistances, mass and heat axial dispersions in the gas phase, and heats of ad(de)sorption causing nonisothermal operation have detrimental impacts on the overall process performance, which are significantly accentuated when the total cycle time of a RPSA process is small and the product gas helium purity is high. These impediments also prohibit indefinite lowering of BSF (desired performance) by decreasing process cycle time alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2008-2015
Number of pages8
JournalAICHE Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • And momentum transfer resistance
  • Heat
  • Mass
  • Numerical simulation
  • Rapid pressure swing adsorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Anatomy of a rapid pressure swing adsorption process performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this