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A multi-criteria design framework for the synthesis of complex pressure swing adsorption cycles for CO2 capture

Fiandaca, G.; (2010) A multi-criteria design framework for the synthesis of complex pressure swing adsorption cycles for CO2 capture. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) is the most efficient option for middle scale separation processes. PSA is a cyclic process whose main steps are adsorption, at high pressure, and regeneration of the adsorbent, at low pressure. The design of PSA cycles is still mainly approached experimentally due to the computational challenges posed by the complexity of the simulation and by the need to detect the performance at cyclic steady state (CSS). Automated tools for the design of PSA processes are desirable to allow a better understanding of the the complex relationship between the performance and the design variables. Furthermore, the operation is characterised by trade-offs between conflicting criteria. A multi-objective flowsheet design framework for complex PSA cycles is presented. A suite of evolutionary procedures, for the generation of alternative PSA configurations has been developed, including simple evolution, simulated annealing as well as a population based procedure. Within this evolutionary procedure the evaluation of each cycle configuration generated requires the solution of a multi-objective optimisation problem which considers the conflicting objectives of recovery and purity. For this embedded optimisation problem a multi-objective genetic algorithm (MOGA), with a targeted fitness function, is used to generate the approximation to the Pareto front. The evaluation of each alternative design makes use of a number of techniques to reduce the computational burden. The case studies considered include the separation of air for N2 production, a fast cycle operation which requires a detailed diffusion model, and the separation of CO2 from flue gases, where complex cycles are needed to achieve a high purity product. The novel design framework is able to determine optimal configurations and operating conditions for PSA for these industrially relevant case studies. The results presented by the design framework can help an engineer to make informed design decisions.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:A multi-criteria design framework for the synthesis of complex pressure swing adsorption cycles for CO2 capture
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Chemical Engineering

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