Vacuum swing absorption
Using special solids, or adsorbents, VSA segregates certain gases from a gaseous mixture under minimal pressure according to the species' molecular characteristics and affinity for the adsorbents. These adsorbents (e.g., zeolites) form a molecular sieve and preferentially adsorb the target gas species at near ambient pressure. The process then swings to a vacuum to regenerate the adsorbent material. In this case N2 is adsorbed in the adsorbers thus increasing the O2 concentration of the exit gases. The N2 is vented to atmosphere during regeneration vis an underground silencer.
VSA differs from cryogenic distillation techniques of gas separation as well as pressure swing adsorption (PSA) techniques because it operates at near-ambient temperatures and pressures.
Typically, vacuum swing adsorption oxygen generation systems can be found in plants belonging to the steel making, glass, pulp and paper, wastewater treatment, or mining industries. They are simple to operate and typically are unmanned for much of the time.
Advantages of vacuum swing adsorption plants
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