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Adsorption Process for C4 Olefin/Paraffin Separation

Jong-Ho Park1, Chang Hyun Ko1, Sang-Sup Han1, Jongkee Park2, Soon-Haeng Cho1, Seong Jun Lee2, Hee Du Lee2, and Jong-Nam Kim1. (1) Korea Institute of Energy Research, 71-2 Jang-Dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 305-343, South Korea, (2) SK Corporation, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-712, South Korea

Olefin/paraffin separations represent a class of most important and also most costly separations in the petrochemical industry [1]. Cryogenic distillation has been used for over 60 years for these separations. They remain the most energy-intensive distillations because of the close relative volatilities [2-3]. Adsorptive separation have been investigated in the past several years as an alternative to traditional distillation processes for carrying out olefin/paraffin separations. The search for an adequate adsorbent and its operating process are still an important primary research activity. Ag ion impregnated sorbent whose interaction is based on phi-complexation showed good selectivity for C4 olefin/paraffin[4]. Since the adsorption isotherms of C4 olefin is favorable and shows small working capacity above atmospheric pressure, a VSA process is preferred to a PSA process. However, the capacity of a VSA process is limited by the size of a vacuum pump. Displacement desorption using desorbent is more suitable for large amount of bulk hydrocarbon separation because it does not requires a vacuum pump. The present study reports the performances of the displacement desorption process for the separation of bulk C4 olefin/paraffin separation using phi-complexation sorbent. The effects of the operating variables on the performance will be discussed.

1. R. T. Yang, Adsorbents: Fundamentals and Applications, Wiley-Interscience: New York, 2003 2. R. B. Eldridge; Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 1993, 32, 2208-2212 3. D. J. Safarik and R. B. Eldridge, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 1998, 37, 2571-2581 4. J. W. Lee, J. H. Park, S. S. Han, J. N. Kim, S. H. Cho and Y. T. Lee, Sep. Sci. and Tech., 2004, 39(6), 1365-1384