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Journal Articles Applied Thermal Engineering Year : 2013

About using microwave irradiation in competitive adsorption processes


The use of microwave radiation for improving adsorption selectivity towards some species in co-adsorption processes is investigated. The microwave effect is evaluated and discussed at a microscopic level based on a set of co-adsorption experiments conducted with various zeolites (NaX, NaY, DAY, NaA) and using two different couples of adsorbates contrasted in polarity: H2O/CO2 and H2O/Toluene. These experiments conducted without heating, under microwave or conventional thermal heating, demonstrate that microwaves do not affect co-adsorption equilibrium by another manner than the thermodynamic effect. Temperature is the controlling parameter of the adsorption equilibrium and adsorption selectivity is identical as soon as the same temperature is reached, independently of the heating system which is used. Nevertheless, temperature heterogeneity, often obtained under microwaves, can be a way of improving selectivity and co-adsorption processes. Simulations of the temperature bed distribution under microwave irradiation have been made for particular zeolite bed configurations. The model accounts for the electromagnetic wave propagation coupled to energy conversion and heat transfer phenomena. From these results, a new process combining several adsorbent beds of contrasted selectivity towards species and of different dielectric properties is proposed. It uses microwave regeneration taking advantage of the temperature heterogeneity. It is a way to obtain energy efficient adsorption processes and high purity adsorbate recovery.

Dates and versions

hal-02409906 , version 1 (13-12-2019)



Benoit Legras, Isabelle Polaert, Michel Thomas, Lionel Estel. About using microwave irradiation in competitive adsorption processes. Applied Thermal Engineering, 2013, 57 (1-2), pp.164-171. ⟨10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2012.03.034⟩. ⟨hal-02409906⟩
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