Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol.50, No.23, 13000-13011, 2011
Filling Characteristics for an Activated Carbon Based Adsorbed Natural Gas Storage System
The storage capacity of an activated carbon bed is studied using a 2D transport model with constant inlet flow conditions. The predicted filling times and variation in bed pressure and temperature are in good agreement with experimental observations obtained using a 1.82 L prototype ANG storage cylinder. Storage efficiencies based on the maximum achievable V/V (volume of gas/volume of container) and filling times are used to quantify the performance of the charging process. For the high permeability beds used in the experiments, storage efficiencies are controlled by the rate of heat removal. Filling times, defined as the time at which the bed pressure reaches 3.5 MPa, range from 120 to 3.4 min for inlet flow rates of 1.0 L min(-1) and 30.0 L min(-1), respectively. The corresponding storage efficiencies, eta(s), vary from 90% to 76%, respectively. Simulations with L/D ratios ranging from 0.35 to 7.8 indicate that the storage efficiencies can be improved with an increase in the LID ratios and/or with water cooled convection. Thus for an inlet flow rate of 30.0 L min(-1), an eta(s) value of 90% can be obtained with water cooling for an L/D ratio of 7.8 and a filling time of a few minutes. In the absence of water cooling the eta(s) value reduces to 83% at the same L/D ratio. Our study suggests that with an appropriate choice of cylinder dimensions, solutions based on convective cooling during adsorptive storage are possible with some compromise in the storage capacity.