Energy & Fuels, Vol.29, No.8, 5028-5035, 2015
Syngas Purification in Cryogenic Packed Beds Using a One-Dimensional Pseudo-homogenous Model
The purification of biomass-derived fuels has been studied extensively in the last 10 years. In 2010, cryogenic packed beds (CPBs) were developed and have shown promise in the removal of CO2, H2O, and H2S from flue gas and biogas. Because of the novelty of the technology, CPB purification of syngas had not yet been tested. This research tests the ability of a CPB to purify syngas by adapting a previously developed one-dimensional model. Syngas was benchmarked against biogas, which had been previously determined to be energetically feasible in a CPB. The biomass-derived BCL/FERCO and coal-derived Shell syngases showed better performance in the simulation than biogas. The BCL/FERCO and Shell gases had heating value/energy cost ratios that were 37 and 14% greater than biogas, respectively. Both syngases had longer system saturation times than biogas, thus a reduction in time spent performing system recovery cycles. While these syngases performed well for this analysis, they were not deemed to be ideal for gas-to-liquid (GTL) processing because of their hydrogen/carbon monoxide ratio. Because of the importance of GTL compatibility, the Purox and Foster Wheeler syngases were further analyzed. While the Purox and Foster Wheeler syngases were shown to be less energetically feasible than the biogas (82 and 62% of biogas, respectively), they were both deemed ideal for GTL processing. They would also require fewer recovery cycles than biogas because of their longer saturation times. An absolute energy analysis should be performed in future works to determine if the purification of the GTL-compatible Purox and Foster Wheeler gases is energetically feasible in a CPB.