Adsorption Solutions, L.L.C.

Trouble Shooting Operating Units

A properly designed and constructed adsorption unit will provide the design performance. However, there are a number of items that can prevent satisfactory operation in a new adsorption unit. This includes: poor mechanical design, improper adsorbent installation, damage to adsorbent during plant start-up, and the presence of trace components in the process fluid and/or the regeneration fluid that were not initially identified.

How long will the adsorption unit perform satisfactory will depend on a number of factors. The adsorbent will age with time and become less effective. This aging reduces the differential loading and slows the mass transfer rate. The net result is that the contaminant will start leaking through the adsorption bed in less time. Eventually the contaminant will leak through before the other bed can be regenerated and be ready to be switched into service. In the design of the adsorption unit extra adsorbent is installed to allow for this aging. The amount of this extra adsorbent is based on the desired time before adsorbent replacement, the frequency of regeneration, and the historical aging of similar adsorbent in similar application.

Other causes for loss of performance include mechanical problems with the unit and changes in the process fluid or the regeneration fluid composition.

If your adsorption unit is not performing as needed, we can help you to:

  • Identify cause(s) of performance problems
  • Diagnose the causes for premature molecular sieve aging
  • Identify mechanical problems
  • Adjust unit operation to allow time for adsorbent replacement without the need for plant shut down
  • Modify the operation to minimize the detrimental effects of contaminants
  • Optimize for changes in feed and/or regeneration fluid composition to obtain energy savings and maximum adsorbent life

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