3D printed versus spherical adsorbents for gas sweetening

Vesna Middelkoop (Corresponding author), Kai Coenen, Jonathan Schalck, Martin van Sint Annaland, Fausto Gallucci (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
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A range of adsorbent structures were examined for sour gas removal over a number of conditions by utilising the choice of materials as well as packing geometry as critical factors for the efficient design of the sorbent bed systems. A comparison was made between 13X zeolite and carbon model structures and their conventional equivalents: beads. They were examined for CO2 and H2S adsorption, using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and breakthrough measurements in a packed bed reactor (PBR) system. 13X beads exhibited the highest adsorption capacity and longest breakthrough, followed by the printed 13X structures. The adsorption and desorption rates of the 3D printed structures were found to be significantly faster than that of beads. 3D printed adsorbent beds with their highly defined three-dimensional networks are considered advantageous for both temperature swing and pressure swing adsorption allowing for increased mass and heat transfer efficiency and lower pressure drop. The results demonstrate that the 3D printed adsorbents are a promising alternative, ready to assemble in gas sweetening units, exhibiting high adsorption capacity and fast kinetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-319
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • 13X zeolite
  • 3D printed monolithic adsorbents
  • Carbon
  • Gas sweetening
  • Structured (packed-bed) reactor
  • Thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA)


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