Simulation of integrated novel PSA / EHP/C process for high- pressure hydrogen recovery from Coke Oven Gas

Sjoerd Van Acht, Christian Laycock, Stephen Carr, Jon Maddy, Alan Guwy, Gareth Lloyd, Leonard Raymakers

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This paper introduces a novel Coke Oven Gas (COG) hydrogen purification/compression system based on the technologies of Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) and Electrochemical Hydrogen Purification and Compression (EHP/C). As the EHP/C tolerates O2, N2 and CH4 impurities, PSA can be utilized solely for CO and CO2 removal (other COG impurities were not considered in this work). A relaxation of PSA hydrogen purity could significantly enhance its recovery rate. In this study, the suitability of traditional hydrogen PSA as part of the hybrid PSA / EHP/C approach was investigated. Aspen Adsorption and Matlab were used to model the PSA and EHP/C systems, respectively. The effect of adsorption pressure, purge-to-feed-ratio (P/F-ratio) and adsorption time within cycle on PSA performance is reported. This study found that breakthrough of non-detrimental components is typically accompanied with poisonous CO. Hence, the CO removal with traditional H2-PSA resulted into high purity product. In a two-bed PSA, 36.3% of hydrogen was recovered at 99.9988% purity and 0.18 ppm CO. Subsequently, as a result, the EHP/C purification capability was merely utilized, but polished this hydrogen to >99.999% purity. Simultaneously, hydrogen was isothermally compressed to 20 MPa, consuming a marginal 2.42 kWh/kg. Compared to mechanical compression, this is 31.6% more energy efficient. Recovering hydrogen from by-product COG was found to save 0.5 kg CO2/kg H2 compared to hydrogen produced from natural gas. Conventional hydrogen PSA, utilizing 70% Activated Carbon and 30% Molecular Sieve 5A, was found not to be effective to target the removal of CO specifically. To increase synergy between PSA and EHP/C, the PSA requires adequate design and operation using appropriate adsorbents and cycle steps to target elimination of CO. An increased EHP/C catalyst tolerance for CO also contributes to higher flexibility.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberHE-D-19-06587R1
Pages (from-to)15196-15212
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number30
Early online date6 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2020


  • Aspen adsorption
  • Electrochemical hydrogen purification and compression
  • Hydrogen PSA impurity breakthrough
  • Matlab
  • Reduced industrial carbon footprint
  • Steelworks arising by-product hydrogen


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