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Category: Refining
Question: What is a feasible replacement for the CATACARB process for purifying hydrogen from a reforming plant?
Keywords: catacarb,carbon,dioxide,removal,hydrogen,reformer
Answer: BACKGROUNDThe purification process of the H2 stream entails CO2 removal, which is mainly produced in the CO shift step. The carbon dioxide separation has been carried out by chemical absorption using a CATACARB solution (18-20 %W). There is one packed absorption column, which works at 200-240 0F and 250-280 psig. There is also one packed regenerator column where the carbon dioxide is stripped from the solvent by countercurrent flow with steam at 220-250 0F and 5-10 psig.RESPONSEMany existing hydrogen and ammonia plants world-wide use MEA (monoethanolamine) or MDEA (methyl diethanolamine) solutions in their CO2 removal porcesses. Others processes that have been used are Benfield and Seloxol. However, it seems that many, if not most, of the newer plants use the Polybed Pressure Swing Adsorption process (PSA). The PSA process does not use any solution or solvent. It uses multiple beds of a proprietary solid adsorbent.