Chemical Engineering Research & Design, Vol.115, 230-240, 2016
Techno-economic evaluation of hybrid systems of pressure swing adsorption and membrane processes for coalbed methane separation
The purpose of this conceptual design study is to evaluate coalbed methane (CBM) separation systems from an economic perspective. To achieve this goal, we propose several system configurations by combining membrane and pressure swing adsorption technologies with recycling. We then perform rigorous process simulations of the proposed CBM separation systems to meet the design specifications (CH4 purity of product stream: 97%, CH4 recovery rate: >90%) from a feed gas (CH4: 90% and CO2: 10%). We compare the systems using various technical and economic metrics, including methane recovery, process energy efficiency, and methane production cost. The top-performing system produces methane at a cost of 0.37 $/kg of CH4 (6.9 $/MMBTU), which can be further improved up to 0.27 $/kg of CH4 by applying promising scenarios. (C) 2016 Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.