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Gas-phase simulated moving bed: Propane/propylene separation on 13X zeolite

, : Gas-phase simulated moving bed: Propane/propylene separation on 13X zeolite. Journal of Chromatography. A 1423: 136-148

In the last years several studies were carried out in order to separate gas mixtures by SMB technology; however, this technology has never been implemented on an industrial scale. In the present work, a gas phase SMB bench unit was built and tested for the separation of propane and propylene mixtures, using 13X zeolite extrudates as adsorbent and isobutane as desorbent. Three experiments were performed to separate propane/propylene by gas phase SMB in the bench scale unit with a 4-2-2 configuration, i.e., open loop circuit by suppressing section IV (desorbent regeneration followed by a recycle). Consequently, all the experiments were conducted using an external supply of pure isobutane as desorbent. Parameters such as switching time, extract and raffinate stream flow rates were changed to improve the efficiency of the process. Experimental results have shown that it is feasible to separate propylene from propane by gas phase SMB at a bench scale and that this process is a potential candidate to replace the conventional technologies for the propane/propylene separation. The performance parameters obtained are very promising for future development of this technology, since propylene was obtained in the extract stream with a purity of 99.93%, a recovery of 99.51%, and a productivity of [Formula: see text] . Propane was obtained in the raffinate stream with a purity of 98.10%, a recovery of 99.73% and a productivity of [Formula: see text] . The success of the above mentioned bench scale tests is a big step for the future implementation of this technology in a larger scale.


PMID: 26545337

DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2015.10.038

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