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submitted on 24.08.2020 and posted on 25.08.2020by Darren Broom, Orhan Talu, Michael J. Benham
Multicomponent gas adsorption equilibria must be determined in order to assess the performance
of an adsorbent for a particular gas separation and for process design. The experimental
techniques commonly used for this purpose, however, are time-consuming and typically require
large samples. In this article, we describe a new approach, called the Integral Mass Balance
(IMB) method, which combines the controlled flow of a gas mixture with in-situ gravimetric
measurement and gas composition analysis using quadrupole mass spectrometry. The IMB
method allows very rapid equilibrium multicomponent gas adsorption measurements to be
performed on samples weighing only a few grams. The method is demonstrated and validated by
performing binary O2/N2 adsorption measurements on a commercial 5A zeolite, at ambient temperature and a total pressure of 0.915 MPa. Excellent agreement with previously published
data was found, using a 3.5 g sample, with a measurement time of only four hours for a twenty
point isotherm. In contrast, other techniques of equivalent accuracy would require around twenty
days of experimental effort to collect a comparable amount of data. Selectivities were also
calculated and shown to agree with previously published results. In principle, the technique
could readily be extended to measure gas adsorption from ternary or higher mixtures.