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Gas separation by adsorption: Technological drivers and opportunities for improvement

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-142
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Engineering
Early online date28 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


Chemical and petrochemical companies are increasingly realizing that their sustainable development critically depends upon development of new innovative processes that use more efficiently materials and energy. As overall separation/purification processes account for 40-60% of capital and operating costs, their amelioration can significantly reduce costs, energy use and waste generation by increasing profits. Gas separation by adsorption technology is a well-established unit operation in chemical and petrochemical industries due to its efficiency for dealing with a large range of gas separations including impurity removal, gas purification and separation in recycle streams. The technology is far from being mature and opportunities to expand its domain of applicability and improve its efficiency are high in a context where better understanding of physical phenomena and technological progress in materials and engineering research are integrated. Major contribution for innovations in gas separation by adsorption technology relate to the discovery of new adsorbents with better separation characteristics coupled to process development and its optimization using multi-objective and multi-domain numerical approaches. This short review identifies technological gaps and drivers for accelerating the development of industrially important gas separations by adsorption.

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