Improving Energy Efficiency of Air Separation via Hollow Fiber Sorbents [electronic resource]

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Ký hiệu phân loại: 333 Economics of land and energy

Thông tin xuất bản: Washington, D.C. : Oak Ridge, Tenn. : United States. Office of the Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy ; Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2019

Mô tả vật lý: Size: 108 p. : , digital, PDF file.

Bộ sưu tập: Metadata

ID: 267971

This report summarizes the work performed under the Department of Energy?s National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE-NETL) Advanced Energy Systems Program award number DE-FE0026163 Improving Energy Efficiency of Air Separation via Hollow Fiber Sorbents. The overall objective of the project was to develop technology to produce oxygen for use in coal gasification processes at a significantly lower cost than that of the commercial state-of-the-art technology. The focus of the project was development and optimization of hollow fiber sorbents for use in a pressure swing adsorption (PSA) process for producing oxygen from air. The key technical advancement under this program was the development of a hollow fiber sorbent capable of producing oxygen in a PSA process. PSAs produce oxygen by using a beaded zeolite material (typically lithium exchanged zeolites or LiX) that selectively adsorb nitrogen over oxygen. For a fiber to adsorb nitrogen, LiX needed to be integrated into a polymer fiber and then activated at over 350C to remove residual moisture. After screening multiple materials and process techniques, Matrimid/LiX hollow fibers were produced that were able to withstand the activation and had crystalline nitrogen capacity close to pure LiX crystals. The fibers were dual layer fibers with a barrier layer isolating the hollow bore from the LiX embedded layer. The barrier layer was formed from an Ultem� based solution. The hollow bore was intended for encapsulating phase change materials to ensure isothermal PSA operation. Modeling work from the project suggested that the benefits of this additional complexity were marginal, thus the team fabricated non-hollow fibers comprised of Matrimid and LiX. The Matrimid/LiX fibers were loaded into a module and tested on a bench scale PSA unit. The fibers were able to separate oxygen from air, but the purity and recovery were lower than expected and lower than traditional beaded LiX zeolites, although modeling results suggested that the bed sizes for fiber sorbents could be half the size of a beaded LiX bed. Additional work will be needed to understand the shortfall and to produce fiber sorbent modules with performance equal to the targets set for this program. In addition to producing fibers, modeling work was carried out at both the fiber level and process level to guide both fiber sorbent development and to determine the optimal process conditions for a PSA using fiber sorbents. A 2D hollow fiber model was developed in gPROMS Model Builder. This model was based on literature data for mass transfer and other parameters. This model used a basic single bed PSA process to determine important fiber properties and process conditions for achieving high oxygen recovery. The preliminary 2D fiber model was a valuable tool, however, for step-out technologies, such as a PSA process with fiber sorbents, intelligent optimization and plant control was needed to effectively determine minimum power designs. Therefore, a gPROMS Process Builder-based optimization tool was developed with an ?Automated Cycle Optimizer? model that was able to determine optimal cycle conditions for a fiber sorbent PSA. The results from the optimizer were used in the final power analysis. Flow sheet analysis and techno-economic analysis (TEA) was carried out to determine a lower power solution versus the baseline case. The original project scope suggested that the fiber sorbent PSA could be used to debottleneck a cryogenic air separation plant (cryo-ASU) with the combined plant having lower power than a standalone cryo-ASU. However, early flowsheet analysis showed that the PSA/cryo-ASU concept would not lead to a lower power solution. However, further flowsheet analysis suggested that an oxygen PSA combined with a nitrogen PSA could have lower power versus state-of-the-art air separation technology. Work concluded with the TEA showing a fiber sorbent oxygen PSA combined with an advanced nitrogen PSA could be up to 8% lower power versus the base case cryo-ASU. Overall, there is significant potential remaining for the zeolite hollow fiber sorbent concept, and this project successfully identified -- and ultimately remedied -- many technical challenges associated with scale-up.
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