Single-Stage Pressure Swing Adsorption for Producing Fuel Cell Grade Hydrogen


High-purity hydrogen is needed for the growing market of hydrogen-based technologies, in particular for the automotive industry. Thus, efforts are needed to enhance the PSA performance to fulfill the needs of this emerging market. In the present work, a selective adsorbent for carbon monoxide was developed from a commercial activated carbon by wet impregnation of CuCl2 center dot 2H(2)O. Several samples were prepared and characterized concerning adsorption isotherms for H-2, CO2, CH4, and CO. The CO capacity was increased from 0.35 mol kg(ads)(-1) in the commercial sample to 1.25 mol kg(ads)(-1) in Cu-AC-2, at 40 degrees C and 1 bar. To attest the Cu-AC-2 performance, fixed-bed experiments were conducted namely mono- and multicomponent breakthrough. Finally, the adsorbent was tested in a 4-column lab-scale PSA unit for purifying a synthetic reformate mixture of 70% H-2, 25% CO2, 4% CH4, and 1% CO. After optimization, hydrogen with a purity +99.97% was obtained with a CO content of 0.17 ppm at a recovery of 76.2%. Such results meet the requirements for automotive industry regarding CO impurities.



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Relvas, F; Whitley, RD; Silva, C; Mendes, A

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F.R. is grateful to NORTE-08-5369-FSE-000028 supported by North Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE 2020), under the Portugal 2020 Partnership Agreement and the European Social Fund (ESF), for his PhD fellow. This work was partially supported by European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) for the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative under grant agreement no 621218 and by the Projects POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006939 (Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy UID/EQU/00511/2013) funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), through COMPETE2020 Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalizacao (POCI) and by national funds, through FCT-Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia and NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000005-LEPABE-2-ECO-INNOVATION, supported by North Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE 2020), under the Portugal 2020 Partnership Agreement, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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