Details on new sorbent option from supplier

One of the key learnings from our first PA build was that our initial sorbent was far from ideal. We knew this already going on, and planned to level up after initial testing. @davidwilson covers the main issues on this video, which is queued up to the point where he discusses this issue for a few minutes.

The replacement sorbent we are now considering was recommended to us by Dr. Susana Garcia Lopez, a chemical engineer with extensive expertise and the PI for the Usorb platform (AI enhanced sorbent discovery).

It’s called Lewatit® VP OC 1065, and I’ve linked the datasheet here..

We had some questions concerning the sorbents operating pressure range and heat tolerance for the supplier, MilliporeSigma, and they got back to us by email. Below I have copied and pasted that message in its entirety.

I’d welcome any thoughts on the below, and if we think this is enough to go on to proceed with a purchase. If we have more questions we need answers for, let’s discuss them here on this thread.

Email from MilliporeSigma

Dear Christopher,

The following article was looking at Lewatit® VP OC 1065 for CO2 capture via temperature swing adsorption. It appears they were operating with pressures in the 0.04 bar to 0.41 and temperature below 100°C. Lewatit starts decomposing at around 100°C.

Excerpts from the conclusion:

“In this study, Lewatit® VP OC 1065 and Zeolite 13X have been evaluated for an application in a continuous TSA process for biogas upgrading. For this, the CO2 adsorption isotherms, the adsorbent selectivities towards CO2 adsorption, and the thermal and mechanical stability were measured for both materials…

Both materials show a sufficiently high CO2 adsorption capacity. whereas Lewatit shows higher capacities at pressures below 0.12 bar. On the other hand, at low partial pressures, Lewatit shows a high CO2 capacity at practical adsorption temperatures as well as a low CO2 capacity at the desired operating temperatures of the desorber…

Lewatit started to degrade at 110 °C in N2 atmosphere and even at 90 °C in air atmosphere. Consequently, it is concluded that the operating temperature and the solid residence time in the desorber of the TSA reactor need to be limited in order to avoid high make-up streams of Lewatit.

The mechanical stability of Lewatit is given, and no weight loss during fluidization was encountered. The tested 13X is not suitable for application in a fluidized bed, as it showed high abrasion and breakage when it was fluidized.

In general, both materials showed to be promising adsorbents for utilization in a TSA biogas upgrading process. Nevertheless, the 13X-type adsorbent tested in this work is not recommended for the proposed process, operating in fluidized beds, due to its low mechanical stability, unless this property is enhanced.”

I hope you find this information helpful. If you have further questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us by replying to this email.

Best Regards,

Tonderai Mabvure,MS
Technical Service Scientist |

Following up from our discussion earlier, the pressures mentioned above are partial CO2 pressures. It can be interpreted as a measure of the fraction of the gas mixture the specified species occupies Wiki link.

Above it mentions pressures in the 0.04-0.41 bar range. The partial pressure of carbon dioxide in air is 0.0005 bar (so about the 0.04% fraction we usually quote). So these partial pressures correspond to carbon dioxide rich gas streams. Doesn’t mean the sorbet isn’t useful for this application though - but there might be better alternatives given the lower fraction for air and all the other variables in play like flow speed, temp, humidity etc.

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@Neidl_c If we purchase some of the Lewatit, where will we test it? We will need some kind of test platform such as an “Epiphyte Lite” complete with instrumentation before we will be able to get useful data. It seems there are a lot of new ideas floating around for how this box might work; are there plans underway for an actual build?

My hope is that we can test it out in the UPENN build. We have a student there now on the ground who is willing to help with that. On Monday - which I hope you can join!- we’re just going to be talking sorbent.