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Pressure Swing Adsorption with Cassava Adsorbent for Dehydration of Ethanol Vapor

Authors: Panarat Rattanaphanee, Chontira Boonfung


Ethanol has become more attractive in fuel industry either as fuel itself or an additive that helps enhancing the octane number and combustibility of gasoline. This research studied a pressure swing adsorption using cassava-based adsorbent prepared from mixture of cassava starch and cassava pulp for dehydration of ethanol vapor. The apparatus used in the experiments consisted of double adsorption columns, an evaporator, and a vacuum pump. The feed solution contained 90-92 %wt of ethanol. Three process variables: adsorption temperatures (110, 120 and 130°C), adsorption pressures (1 and 2 bar gauge) and feed vapor flow rate (25, 50 and 75 % valve opening of the evaporator) were investigated. According to the experimental results, the optimal operating condition for this system was found to be at 2 bar gauge for adsorption pressure, 120°C for adsorption temperature and 25% valve opening of the evaporator. Production of 1.48 grams of ethanol with concentration higher than 99.5 wt% per gram of adsorbent was obtained. PSA with cassavabased adsorbent reported in this study could be an alternative method for production of nearly anhydrous ethanol. Dehydration of ethanol vapor achieved in this study is due to an interaction between free hydroxyl group on the glucose units of the starch and the water molecules.

Keywords: Adsorption, Ethanol, cassava, dehydration, PSA

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