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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 402756, 7 pages
Research Article

CFD Simulation for Separation of Carbon Dioxide-Methane Mixture by Pressure Swing Adsorption

School of Mechanical and Building Sciences, VIT University, Vellore, Tamil Nadu 632014, India

Received 13 January 2014; Revised 28 May 2014; Accepted 29 May 2014; Published 19 June 2014

Academic Editor: Donald L. Feke

Copyright © 2014 K. Rambabu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A developing technology for gas separations is pressure swing adsorption, which has been proven to be more economical and energy efficient compared to other separation methods like cryogenic distillation and membrane separation. A pressure swing adsorption (PSA) column, with carbon dioxide-methane as feed mixture and 6-FDA based polyimides as the adsorbent, was modeled and simulated in this work. Ansys Fluent 12.1, along with supplementary user defined functions, was used to develop a 2D transient Eulerian laminar viscous flow model for the PSA column. The model was validated by comparing the simulated results with established analytical models for PSA. The developed numerical model was used to determine the carbon dioxide concentration in the column as a function of time based on different operating conditions. Effect of various operating parameters like pressure, temperature, and flow rate on the separation efficiency has been studied and reported. Optimization studies were carried out to obtain suitable operating conditions for the feed gases separation. Simulation studies were carried out to determine the separation length required for complete separation of the feed mixture corresponding to different inlet feed concentrations which were entering the column at a given flow rate.