Edinburgh, United Kingdom


V-PSA (UK3.1)

Multi-column Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption

The adsorptive gas separation system is to test a variety of pressure swing adsorption systems in a wide range of column pressure from vacuum to 40 bar. This system was designed to operate for both CO2 recovery (low pressure) and H2 production (high pressure). To achieve a high product recovery, the rig contains six identical adsorption columns with all the column interconnected to each other through the lines. All the columns are placed in an oven for temperature control. Each column has a dimension of 600 mm length x 25 mm diameter. It was designed on the basis of the feed flowrate of 5 LSTP/min.

In addition to the four steps of Skarstrom cycle, other steps for performance improvement can be incorporated into an adsorption cycle, such as product pressurisation, pressure equalization and light/heavy reflux. The gas compositions are analysed in situ by a mass spectrometer.

A dynamic simulator has been developed for the multi-column VPSA system with gPROMS, based on rigorous mathematical models developed by the rig owner.

Areas of research

The rig can be used for testing a high-pressure adsorptive separation, e.g. hydrogen purification from the syngas.


Refer to the diagram in the figure "Process flow diagram" for components of this rig.


State of the Art, uniqueness & specific advantages


Scientific Environment


Operating by

The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh
United Kingdom
CAPTURE technologies:
Systems, Sorbents, Fixed-bed adsorption system
Research Fields:
Physical processes, Engineering
Facility's fact sheet

Location & Contacts

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Hyungwoong Ahn
RICC Contacts - Secondary contact
Philippa Parmiter

Facility Availability

Unit of access (UA)
Availability per year (in UA)
Around 2 - 3 months each year
Duration of a typical access (average) and number of external users expected for that access
2 weeks
Average number of external users expected for typical access
Normally two external users to attend

Quality Control / Quality Assurance (QA)

Activities / tests / data are
Controlled: nd

Operational or other constraints

Specific risks:
Tests must be planned well ahead to have sufficient time for preparing for the experiments. Adsorbents to be tested must be provided by the user along with their full data sheet. Risk assessment must be carried out before access to the rig is granted. A user must be accompanied by an experienced UoE staff in accessing the rig.
Legal issues

CCUS Projects

Other CCUS Projects
EPSRC, EP/F034520/1
Carbon Capture from Power Plant and Atmosphere
EPSRC, EP/J018198/01
Carbon Capture in the Refining Process
KETEP 2011 International Joint Research on Energy Technology, funded by Korean government
Development of a Pre-combustion Capture IGCC Process integrated with H2 PSA


Hydrogen production processing

Selected Publications

International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 35, 71 – 81, 2015 (2015)
CO2 capture from syngas by an adsorption process at a biomass gasification CHP plant: Its comparison with amine-based CO2 capture
Oreggioni, G.D., Brandani, S., Luberti, M., Baykan, Y., Friedrich, D., Ahn, H.
Adsorption 20(2-3), 511 – 524, 2014 (2014)
Design of a H2 PSA for cogeneration of ultrapure hydrogen and power at an advanced integrated gasification combined cycle with pre-combustion capture
Luberti, M., Friedrich, D., Brandani, S., Ahn, H.
Chemical Engineering Research and Design 151, 91 – 99, 2019 (2019)
Equilibrium theory analysis of thermal regeneration of a humid adsorption column: Selection of optimal hot purge gas temperature
Ahn, H.
Adsorption 21(5), 353 – 363, 2015 (2015)
New momentum and energy balance equations considering kinetic energy effect for mathematical modelling of a fixed bed adsorption column
Luberti, M., Kim, Y.-H., Lee, C.-H., Ferrari, M.-C., Ahn, H.
Journal of environmental chemical engineering 5(4), 3973 – 3982, 2017 (2017)
Design of a rapid vacuum pressure swing adsorption (RVPSA) process for post-combustion CO2 capture from a biomass-fuelled CHP plant
Luberti, M., Oreggioni, G.D., Ahn, H.