Sep. 4, 2017 – CNPC Guangxi Petrochemical Company has converted its existing pressure swing adsorption (PSA) unit to Honeywell UOP Polybed PSA technology, enabling it to produce high-purity hydrogen, it says.
The newly upgraded unit, located in Qinzhou in China’s Guangxi Province, now boasts hydrogen at 99.9 per cent purity and with increased hydrogen recovery for Guangxi Petrochemical’s hydrotreating units, which use the hydrogen to extract impurities from the feedstock.
“The quality of hydrogen is essential to the operation of any refinery or petrochemical plant because it helps to determine the efficiency of the entire complex,” said Rachelle Goebel, vice president and general manager, Gas Processing and Hydrogen at Honeywell UOP. “This revamp of an existing unit shows that customers in China can upgrade to the highest-quality source of hydrogen production without a costly and disruptive unit replacement.”
The Honeywell UOP Polybed PSA technology addresses several issues faced by many manufacturers in China, such as low recovery rates and purity, control valve leakage and poor or inconsistent performance.
CNPC Guangxi Petrochemical selected the Honeywell UOP technology due to its experience with another Polybed unit that went into service in 2014. This unit has proven to be a highly reliable source of high-purity hydrogen that is easy to operate.
The PSA process uses proprietary UOP adsorbents to remove impurities at high pressure from hydrogen-containing process streams, allowing hydrogen to be recovered and upgraded to more than 99.9 percent purity to meet refining needs. In addition to recovering and purifying hydrogen from steam reformers and refinery off-gases, the Polybed PSA system can be used to produce hydrogen from other sources such as ethylene off-gas, methanol off-gas and partial-oxidation synthesis gas.
Since the first small, four-bed hydrogen PSA system was commercialized in 1966, Honeywell UOP has significantly improved Polybed PSA systems by incorporating new generations of adsorbents, enhanced cycle configurations, modified process and equipment designs, and more reliable control systems and equipment. To date, Honeywell UOP has installed 1,071 Polybed PSA units in more than 70 countries.