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Binderless zeolite beads for CO2 adsorption from biogas

PhD ceremony:dr. ir. D.G. Boer
When:May 09, 2023
Supervisors:P.P. (Paolo) Pescarmona, Prof, F. (Francesco) Picchioni, Prof
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Science and Engineering
Binderless zeolite beads for CO2 adsorption from biogas

Research focused on the replacement of natural gas has received increasing attention, with the aim to mitigate anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Biogas, which is obtained through anaerobic digestion of organic waste, such as agricultural waste (e.g. manure) or waste from the food industry, can be used as a direct replacement for natural gas. Biogas contains about 60 vol% CH4 and 40 vol% CO2, and in order to be used as a replacement for natural gas, it should be upgraded to > 95% CH4. (Vacuum) Pressure Swing Adsorption (V)PSA using zeolites as adsorbents is considered an attractive method for upgrading of biogas. Zeolites are considered suitable for this application due to their moderate adsorption capacities (1-7 mmol/g) at low pressure (1 bar), excellent structural stability, and because they can be produced easily at low cost. In particular, zeolites are of interest for this application due to the possibility to modify their physicochemical properties, and thereby enhance the CO2 adsorption performance.

Though zeolites are typically synthesized in powder format, and subsequently shaped into a macroscopic format by adding about 20 wt% inert binder, in this work we present an attractive alternative. Several macroscopic binderless zeolite beads (0.4-1.2 mm) were synthesized using a hard templating method, resulting in beads displaying an open and accessible hierarchically porous structure which were investigated for their applicability in biogas upgrading.