Gas Separations & Adsorption

ASAPworkingGas is much “cleaner” than coal as the combustion of gas emits 47% less carbon dioxide for the equivalent energy output, and virtually no sulphur dioxide or mercury pollutants. Methane is the primary component of gas but it is also present with significant quantities of contaminants such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide and other minor impurities, depending on source of the natural gas, which may be conventional (such as associated gas or coal mine gas) or renewable (biogas and landfill gas). These contaminants have to be removed to meet gas quality specifications. The separation of carbon dioxide from gas is conventionally performed by scrubbing with alkaline reagents, such as amines, which is typically energy inefficient and can be environmentally problematic. The rejection of N2 from the CH4 is more difficult: in LNG production it is normally performed through cryogenic distillation, which is also energy intensive. This process produces a N2 stream that is vented to the atmosphere which can contain about 2% CH4. Given methane is a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide and also represents a waste of valuable fuel, such methane emissions are clearly undesirable.

DRPSA

Our major objectives are to develop adsorption based technologies that can be applied in different stages of the gas production process: separating carbon dioxide and nitrogen from gases for methane purification, and capturing the latent CH4 and reducing its concentration in the vent streams to the part-per-million level. This involves the interplay of adsorption fundamentals, material science and chemical engineering, so developments of both high performance adsorption materials and processes are equally important.

Publications

Journal

Demonstration and optimisation of the four Dual-Reflux Pressure Swing Adsorption configurations

EF May, Y Zhang, TLH Saleman, G Xiao, G Li, BR Young
Separation and Purification Technology 177, 161–175
Reference Link

2017
Journal

Effective Critical Constants for Helium for Use in Equations of State for Natural Gas Mixtures

D Rowland, TJ Hughes, EF May
Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data In Press, –
Reference Link

2017
Journal

A robust dynamic column breakthrough technique for high-pressure measurements of adsorption equilibria and kinetics

T Saleman, G Xiao, G Li, EF May
Adsorption In Press, 1–14
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2017
Journal

Adsorption equilibria and kinetics of CH4 and N2 on commercial zeolites and carbons

G Xiao, Z Li, TL Saleman, EF May
Adsorption 23 (1), 131–147
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2017
Journal

Methyllithium-Doped Naphthyl-Containing Conjugated Microporous Polymer with Enhanced Hydrogen Storage Performance

D Xu, L Sun, G Li, J Shang, R-X Yang, W-Q Deng
Chemistry-A European Journal 22 (23), 7944–7949
Reference Link

2016
Journal

Adsorption equilibria and kinetics of CH4 and N2 on commercial zeolites and carbons

G Xiao, Z Li, TL Saleman, EF May
Adsorption , 1–17
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2016
Journal

Capture of low grade methane from nitrogen gas using dual-reflux pressure swing adsorption

TL Saleman, G Li, TE Rufford, PL Stanwix, IK Chan, SH Huang, EF May
Chemical Engineering Journal 281, 739–748
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2015
Journal

Converting 3D rigid metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) to 2D flexible networks via ligand exchange for enhanced CO2/N2 and CH4/N2 separation

Y He, J Shang, Q Gu, G Li, J Li, R Singh, P Xiao, PA Webley
Chemical Communications 51, 14716–14719
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2015
Journal

Gas–Gas Dispersion Coefficient Measurements Using Low-Field MRI

A Honari, SJ Vogt, EF May, ML Johns
Transport in Porous Media 106, 21–32
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2015
Journal

A Review of Conventional and Emerging Process Technologies for the Recovery of Helium from Natural Gas

TE Rufford, IK Chan, SH Huang, EF May
Adsorption Science & Technology 32, 49–72
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2014
Journal

The role of water on postcombustion CO2 capture by vacuum swing adsorption: Bed layering and purge to feed ratio

G Li, P Xiao, J Zhang, PA Webley, D Xu
AIChE Journal 60, 673–689
Reference Link

2014
Journal

Temperature controlled invertible selectivity for adsorption of N 2 and CH 4 by molecular trapdoor chabazites

J Shang, G Li, Q Gu, R Singh, P Xiao, JZ Liu, PA Webley
Chemical Communications 50, 4544–4546
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2014
Journal

Using one waste to tackle another: Preparation of a CO2 capture material zeolite X from laterite residue and bauxite

L Liu, T Du, G Li, F Yang, S Che
Journal of hazardous materials 278, 551–558
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2014
Journal

Simulating the capture of CO2 from natural gas: New data and improved models for methane+ carbon dioxide+ methanol

TJ Hughes, ME Kandil, BF Graham, EF May
International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 31, 121–127
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2014
Journal

Capacity and Kinetic Measurements of Methane and Nitrogen Adsorption on H+-mordenite at 243–303 K and pressures to 900 kPa using a Dynamic Column Breakthrough Apparatus

TLH Saleman, GCY Watson, TE Rufford, PS Hoffman, KI Chan, EF May
Adsorption 19, 1165–1180
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2013
Journal

Determination of composition range for “molecular trapdoor” effect in chabazite zeolite

J Shang, G Li, R Singh, P Xiao, JZ Liu, PA Webley
The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 117, 12841–12847
Reference Link

2013
Journal

Effects of water vapour on CO2 capture with vacuum swing adsorption using activated carbon

D Xu, P Xiao, J Zhang, G Li, G Xiao, PA Webley, Y Zhai
Chemical Engineering Journal 230, 64–72
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2013
Journal

A Dynamic Column Breakthrough Apparatus for Adsorption Capacity Measurements with Quantitative Uncertainties

PS Hofman, TE Rufford, KI Chan, EF May
Adsorption 18, 251–263
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2012
Journal

The removal of CO2 and N2 from natural gas: A review of conventional and emerging process technologies

TE Rufford, S Smart, GCY Watson, BF Graham, J Boxall, JC Dinz da Costa, EF May
Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 94-95, 123–154
Reference Link

2012
Journal

Volumetric Adsorption Measurements of N2, CO2, CH4, and a CO2 + CH4 Mixture on a Natural Chabazite from (5 to 3000) kPa

GC Watson, NK Jensen, TE Rufford, KI Chan, EF May
Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data 57, 93–101
Reference Link

2012
Journal

Screening Zeolites for Gas Separation Applications Involving Methane, Nitrogen, and Carbon Dioxide

NK Jensen, TE Rufford, G Watson, DK Zhang, KI Chan, EF May
Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data 57, 106–113
Reference Link

2012
Journal

Discriminative separation of gases by a “molecular trapdoor” mechanism in chabazite zeolites

J Shang, G Li, R Singh, Q Gu, KM Nairn, TJ Bastow, N Medhekar, CM Doherty, AJ Hill, JZ Liu, PA Webley
Journal of the American Chemical Society 134, 19246–19253
Reference Link

2012