VPSA - Multi-column Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption

Facility Location
City & country
Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Description & contacts of the access provider
Legal name of organisation
UoEdinburgh - The University of Edinburgh

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.   


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

Multi-column VPSA system at UoE consisting of gas dosing system, six columns in the oven, vacuum pump and control system.
Solenoid valves
Six columns in the oven
Gas analyser
Dynamic gPROMS simulation of a cyclic adsorption system
Process flow diagram