CIESC Journal ›› 2019, Vol. 70 ›› Issue (3): 969-978.doi: 10.11949/j.issn.0438-1157.20180729

• Separation engineering • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Experiment and simulation of PSA process for small oxygen generator with two adsorption beds

Tao TIAN1(),Bing LIU2,Meisheng SHI1,Yaxiong AN2,Jun MA1,Yanjun ZHANG1,Xinxi XU1(),Donghui ZHANG2()   

  1. 1. Institute of Medical Support Technology, Academy of System Engineering of Academy, Military Science of Chinese PLA, Tianjin 300161, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
  • Received:2018-07-04 Revised:2018-09-19 Online:2019-03-05 Published:2019-04-03
  • Contact: Xinxi XU,Donghui ZHANG;;


A small two-bed pressure swing adsorption oxygen generator was designed and a series of experiments were carried out in the low-pressure cabin. The influences of structure and operating parameters were investigated simultaneously. The mathematic model of oxygen production process was established. The model was matched with the experiment results to verify the accuracy of the model. Numerical simulation and simulation researches were carried out to determine the relevant intrinsic parameters and external factors on the process of oxygen production and the effect of oxygen production. Performance of oxygen generator at different altitudes with different operating conditions, design parameters and operating parameters were studied to improve the oxygen production efficiency and reduce the manufacturing and operating costs of oxygen generator.

Key words: small pressure swing absorption, numerical simulation, model, plateau altitude, air separation, experimental validation

CLC Number: 

  • TQ 028.1


Apparatus for adsorption isotherm measuring"


N2 and O2 adsorption isotherm on LiLSX at different temperatures"


Diagram of two-bed PSA oxygen generation apparatus"

Table 1

Schedule for two-bed PSA process"


Table 2

Mathematical model of bed for two-bed PSA process"

Model equationMathematical expression

mass balance





energy balance gas phase

solid phase

bed wall

momentum balance-?P?z=150μ(1-εb)2εb3(2rpψ)2+1.75M(1-εb)ρg2rpψεb3vgvg(6)
adsorption balanceqi*=qm,ibiPi1+i=1nbiPi,bi=b0iexp(-ΔHi/RgT),-ΔHi=RgT?lnPi?Tq(7)
adsorption rate?qi?t=kLDF,i(qi*-qi)=15De,irp2(qi*-qi),De,i=εpτDk,iDm,iDk,i+Dm,i,Dk,i=97.0rpTMi(8)

Table 3

Physical characteristics of adsorption bed and adsorbent"

rp/m6.0× 10-4
ρb /(kg·m-3)610.0
cpw /(kJ·kg-1·K-1)0.502
cps /(kJ·kg-1·K-1)0.902
cvg /(kJ·kg-1·K-1)0.758
ρw /(kg·m-3)7800

Table 4

Parameters of Langmuir adsorption model for N2/O2/Ar"

IP1/(mol·kg-1·kPa-1)1.16× 10-82.72× 10-91.16× 10-8
IP3/kPa-11.86× 10-61.11× 10-61.86× 10-6

Table 5

Summary of boundary conditions for each step"

adsorption(AD step)
equalization repressurization(ER step)
equalization depressurization(ED step)
PUR(product upper gas purge step)
PP(purge product gas step)







Table 6

Summary of simulation and experiment results for two-bed PSA process"



Tower high/mmAdsorption time/sPore size/mm





Atmospheric pressure and feed rate of air at different altitudes"


Pressure variation of single cycle in tower at different altitudes"


Purity and recovery of O2 under different altitude"

Table 7

Material balance of O2 in CSS"





Purity/%Recovery/%(P*/F*)/%(PO2*/FO2*)/%(W*/F*)/%(W*O2*/FO2*)/%(E*/F*)/%Composition of pressure equalization gas
0593.434.011.7452.1492.3565.969.4881.85%N2, 17.35%O2
54.493.047.89.0838.0189.0053.809.0381.02%N2, 18.11%O2


Concentration distribution of N2 in adsorption bed under different adsorption time"


Purity and recovery of O2 under different adsorption time"


Flushing gas flow at different time under different pore size"


Adsorption bed pressure at different time under different pore size"


Purity and recovery of O2 under different pore size"

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