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Title page for ETD etd-08282009-140753

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Moate, Joseph R.
Author's Email Address joe.moate@gmail.com
URN etd-08282009-140753
Title Temperature swing adsorption compression and membrane separations
Degree PhD
Department Chemical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
M. Douglas LeVan Committee Chair
Bridget Rogers Committee Member
G. Kane Jennings Committee Member
Greg Walker Committee Member
Kenneth Debelak Committee Member
  • zeolite
  • Nafion
Date of Defense 2009-08-26
Availability unrestricted




Dissertation under the direction of Professor M. Douglas LeVan

The feasibility of the capture and pressurization of CO2 from an enclosed

environment using an integrated membrane dryer and two-stage temperature swing

adsorption compression system is investigated in this work by fundamental research

on the operation of temperature swing adsorption (TSA) beds, dispersive flow through

packed beds, and dehydration of a process stream using a shell and tube membrane


The first section of this dissertation focuses on sizing a two-stage TSA compressor

that preferentially adsorbs CO2 and analysis of its subsequent performance

with the aid of mathematical models. Solutions to the material and energy balances

reveal a relationship between the volume of the two stages and the pressures reached

within the stages. Also, the method in which the beds are heated, whether uniform

or not, is investigated and is found to have a significant impact on the desorption of


Next, a mathematical model that describes nonplug flow through a packed bed

of adsorbent in which a constant pattern develops is studied for a slightly favorable

isotherm. A generalized perturbation solution of the model that extends to the first

and second order is developed that considers both axial and transverse gradients of

concentration in the fluid phase. First order corrections to the plug flow model and

fluid-phase concentration profiles for two example velocity profiles are formulated that

illustrate the influence of the shape of the velocity profile on breakthrough behavior.

In the final section, the effects of scale on the dehydration of a process stream is

considered for two shell and tube membrane modules, one with a vacuum on the shell

side and the other with a purge gas to facilitate water transport. It was determined

that special considerations must be made to prevent flow maldistribution within the

shell side of the membrane modules as this degrades dehydration performance. Also,

the use of a vacuum on the shell side successfully dehydrates a process stream, but

water transport through the membrane is overestimated using previously developed

relationships for the diffusion coefficient.

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