ETH-PSA - Two column lab PSA setup

Facility Location
City & country
Zürich (Switzerland)
Rämistrasse 101, 8006
Description & contacts of the access provider
Legal name of organisation
ETH-Z - Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich
Infrastructure contact - Primary contact
Marco Mazzotti
RICC contact - Secondary contact
Alba Zappone
Facility Availability
Unit of access
Availability per year
Minimum 1 month
Expected duration of single experiment:
1 month

This infrastructure provides facilities and methods to conduct breakthrough experiments as well as full PSA and TSA cycles. The columns (height: 1.2 m; inner diameter: 0.25 m) are manufactured in-house from two concentric stainless steel pipes that act as a jacketed column and are equipped with thermostats enabling control of the column temperature. Five thermocouples are placed regularly inside each column. Two mass flow controllers are used to control the feed flow rates, while the system pressures are controlled by two back pressure regulators mounted downstream of each column; additionally, the pressure drop across the beds is measured using four pressure transducers installed at the inlet and at the outlet of the columns, respectively. A combination of automatically and manually activated valves allows for a flexible choice of a PSA/TSA cycle. Online monitoring of the outlet gas composition is achieved by a mass spectrometer. The mass spectrometer enables the monitoring of many different components, in a range of concentrations in the order of ppm.

State of the art, uniqueness, & specific advantages

TA11.2 provides facilities and methods to conduct breakthrough experiments as well as full PSA and TSA cycles. This lab pilot plant was built in house and is therefore very flexible. Adaptation and small changes can be easily implemented. The mass spectrometer has a very high resolution (0.1 s), which also allows monitoring of fast processes.

Scientific Environment

The installations are designed for CO2 capture research. In-house activity based thermodynamic and kinetic models can be used to model the experimental results. Additionally in-house lab equipment for offline analysis of solids related to crystallization research (XRD, TGA, SEM, PSD) can be used to find the speciation in the solids. The current users at ETH have obtained many scientific achievements based on the services offered by the infrastructures, including EU projects, industrial and National Funded Research projects, and have produced many peer-reviewed scientific papers.


Other Large Initiatives
Other Large Initiatives

selected publications

Marx D., Joss L., Hefti M. and Mazzotti M. (2015)
Temperature swing adsorption for post-combustion CO2 capture: Single and multicolumn experiments and simulations
Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., accepted
Marx D., Joss L., Hefti M., Gazzani M. and Mazzotti M., (2015)
CO2 Capture from a Binary CO2/N2 and a Ternary CO2/N2/H2 Mixture by PSA: Experiments and Predictions
Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., vol. 54, pp. 6035-6045
Marx D., Joss L., Casas N., Schell J. and Mazzotti M. (2014)
Prediction of non-isothermal ternary gas-phase breakthrough experiments based on binary data
Adsorption, vol. 20,pp. 493–510
Casas N., Schell J., Blom R., and Mazzotti M (2013)
MOF and UiO-67/MCM-41 adsorbents for pre-combustion CO2 capture by PSA: Breakthrough experiments and process design
Sep. Purif. Technol., vol. 112, pp. 34–48
Schell, J. Casas N., Marx D., and Mazzotti M. (2013)
Precombustion CO2 Capture by Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA): Comparison of Laboratory PSA Experiments and Simulations
Ind. & Eng. Chem. Res., vol. 52, pp. 8311–8322
Casas, N., Schell J., Pini R., mazzotti M. (2012)
Fixed bed adsorption of CO2/H2 mixtures on activated carbon: experiments and modeling
Adsorption, vol. 18, pp. 143-161