Gas Separations & Adsorption

Gas is much “cleaner” than coal as the combustion of gas emits 47% less carbon dioxide for the equivalent energy output, and virtually no sulphur dioxide or mercury pollutants. Methane is the primary component of gas but it is also present with significant quantities of contaminants such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide and other minor impurities, depending on source of the natural gas, which may be conventional (such as associated gas or coal mine gas) or renewable (biogas and landfill gas). These contaminants have to be removed to meet gas quality specifications. The separation of carbon dioxide from gas is conventionally performed by scrubbing with alkaline reagents, such as amines, which is typically energy inefficient and can be environmentally problematic. The rejection of nitrogen from methane is more difficult: in LNG production it is normally performed through cryogenic distillation, which is also energy intensive. This process produces a nitrogen stream that is vented to the atmosphere which can contain about 2% methane. Given methane is a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide and also represents a waste of valuable fuel, such methane emissions are clearly undesirable.

Our major objectives are to develop adsorption based technologies that can be applied in different stages of the gas production process: separating carbon dioxide and nitrogen from gases for methane purification, and capturing the latent methane and reducing its concentration in the vent streams to the part-per-million level. This involves the interplay of adsorption fundamentals, material science and chemical engineering, so developments of both high performance adsorption materials and processes are equally important.

Publications

2017

Journal

A robust dynamic column breakthrough technique for high-pressure measurements of adsorption equilibria and kinetics

T Saleman, G Xiao, G Li, EF May

Adsorption

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2017

Journal

Adsorption equilibria and kinetics of CH4 and N2 on commercial zeolites and carbons

G Xiao, Z Li, TL Saleman, EF May

Adsorption , p1 - 17

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2017

Journal

Adsorption equilibria and kinetics of CH4 and N2 on commercial zeolites and carbons

G Xiao, Z Li, TL Saleman, EF May

Adsorption

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2017

Journal

Advanced non-isothermal dynamic simulations of dual reflux pressure swing adsorption cycles

Yuan Zou, Gongkui Xiao, Gang Li, Wei Lu, Eric F.May

Chemical Engineering Research and Design

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2017

Journal

Demonstration and optimisation of the four Dual-Reflux Pressure Swing Adsorption configurations

EF May, Y Zhang, TLH Saleman, G Xiao, G Li, BR Young

Separation and Purification Technology 177, p161 - 175

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2017

Journal

Temperature-regulated guest admission and release in microporous materials

Gang (Kevin) Li, Jin Shang, Qinfen Gu, Rohan V. Awati, Nathan Jensen, Andrew Grant, Xueying Zhang, David S. Sholl, Jefferson Z. Liu, Paul A. Webley, Eric F. May

Nature Communications

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2016

Journal

Methyllithium-Doped Naphthyl-Containing Conjugated Microporous Polymer with Enhanced Hydrogen Storage Performance

D Xu, L Sun, G Li, J Shang, R-X Yang, W-Q Deng

Chemistry-A European Journal 22 (23), p7944 - 7949

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2015

Journal

Capture of low grade methane from nitrogen gas using dual-reflux pressure swing adsorption

TL Saleman, G Li, TE Rufford, PL Stanwix, IK Chan, SH Huang, EF May

Chemical Engineering Journal 281, p739 - 748

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2015

Journal

Converting 3D rigid metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) to 2D flexible networks via ligand exchange for enhanced CO2/N2 and CH4/N2 separation

Y He, J Shang, Q Gu, G Li, J Li, R Singh, P Xiao, PA Webley

Chemical Communications 51, p14716 - 14719

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2015

Journal

Gas–Gas Dispersion Coefficient Measurements Using Low-Field MRI

Honari, SJ Vogt, EF May, ML Johns

Transport in Porous Media 106, p21 - 35

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2014

Journal

A Review of Conventional and Emerging Process Technologies for the Recovery of Helium from Natural Gas

TE Rufford, IK Chan, SH Huang, EF May

Adsorption Science & Technology 32, p49 - 72

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2014

Journal

Simulating the capture of CO2 from natural gas: New data and improved models for methane+ carbon dioxide+ methanol

TJ Hughes, ME Kandil, BF Graham, EF May

International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 31, p121 - 127

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2014

Journal

Temperature controlled invertible selectivity for adsorption of N 2 and CH 4 by molecular trapdoor chabazites

J Shang, G Li, Q Gu, R Singh, P Xiao, JZ Liu, PA Webley

Chemical Communications 50, p4544 - 4546

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2014

Journal

The role of water on postcombustion CO2 capture by vacuum swing adsorption: Bed layering and purge to feed ratio

G Li, P Xiao, J Zhang, PA Webley, D Xu

AIChE Journal 60, p673 - 689

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2014

Journal

Using one waste to tackle another: Preparation of a CO2 capture material zeolite X from laterite residue and bauxite

L Liu, T Du, G Li, F Yang, S Che

Journal of hazardous materials 278, p551 - 558

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2013

Journal

Capacity and Kinetic Measurements of Methane and Nitrogen Adsorption on H+-mordenite at 243–303 K and pressures to 900 kPa using a Dynamic Column Breakthrough Apparatus

TLH Saleman, GCY Watson, TE Rufford, PS Hoffman, KI Chan, EF May

Adsorption 19, p1165 - 1180

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2013

Journal

Determination of composition range for “molecular trapdoor” effect in chabazite zeolite

J Shang, G Li, R Singh, P Xiao, JZ Liu, PA Webley

The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 117, p12841 - 12847

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2013

Journal

Effects of water vapour on CO2 capture with vacuum swing adsorption using activated carbon

D Xu, P Xiao, J Zhang, G Li, G Xiao, PA Webley, Y Zhai

Chemical Engineering Journal 230, p64 - 72

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2012

Journal

A Dynamic Column Breakthrough Apparatus for Adsorption Capacity Measurements with Quantitative Uncertainties

PS Hofman, TE Rufford, KI Chan, EF May

Adsorption 18, p251 - 263

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2012

Journal

Discriminative separation of gases by a “molecular trapdoor” mechanism in chabazite zeolites

J Shang, G Li, R Singh, Q Gu, KM Nairn, TJ Bastow, N Medhekar, CM Doherty, AJ Hill, JZ Liu, PA Webley

Journal of the American Chemical Society 134, p19246 - 19253

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2012

Journal

Screening Zeolites for Gas Separation Applications Involving Methane, Nitrogen, and Carbon Dioxide

NK Jensen, TE Rufford, G Watson, DK Zhang, KI Chan, EF May

Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data 57, p106 - 113

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2012

Journal

The removal of CO2 and N2 from natural gas: A review of conventional and emerging process technologies

TE Rufford, S Smart, GCY Watson, BF Graham, J Boxall, JC Dinz da Costa, EF May

Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 94-95, p123 - 154

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2012

Journal

Volumetric Adsorption Measurements of N2, CO2, CH4, and a CO2 + CH4 Mixture on a Natural Chabazite from (5 to 3000) kPa

GC Watson, NK Jensen, TE Rufford, KI Chan, EF May

Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data 57, p93 - 101

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