Prediction of adsorption isotherms from breakthrough curves

Ali Poursaeidesfahani, Eduardo Andres-Garcia, Martijn de Lange, Ariana Torres-Knoop, Marcello Rigutto, Nitish Nair, Freek Kapteijn, Jorge Gascon, David Dubbeldam, Thijs J.H. Vlugt

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A mathematical model is used to predict adsorption isotherms from experimentally measured breakthrough curves. Using this approach, by performing only breakthrough experiments for a mixture of two (or more) components, one can obtain pure component adsorption isotherms up to the pressure of the experiment. As a case study, the adsorption of an equimolar mixture of CO2 and CH4 in zeolite ITQ-29 is investigated. Pure component linear adsorption isotherms for CO2 and CH4 are predicted by fitting the theoretical breakthrough curves to the experimental ones. Henry coefficients obtained from our approach are in excellent agreement with those measured experimentally. A similar procedure is applied to predict the complete Langmuir adsorption isotherm from breakthrough curves at high pressures. The resulting adsorption isotherms are in very good agreement with those measured experimentally. In our model for transient adsorption, mass transfer from the gas phase to the adsorbed phase is considered using the Linear Driving Force model and dispersion of the gas phase in the packed bed is taken into account. IAST is used to compute the equilibrium loadings for a mixture of gases. The influence of the dispersion coefficient and the effective mass transfer coefficient on the shape of breakthrough curves is investigated and discussed. Rough estimations of these values are sufficient to predict adsorption isotherms from breakthrough curves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-244
JournalMicroporous and Mesoporous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Adsorption isotherm
  • breakthrough curve
  • Dispersion
  • Mass transfer

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