Trace impurity removal from air

R. Kumar, M. Huggahalli, S. Deng, M. Andrecovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


In addition to Nitrogen, Oxygen and Argon, ambient air contains many trace impurities. These impurities include moisture, Carbon Dioxide, Oxides of Nitrogen and light Hydrocarbons. Prior to cryogenic distillation of air to produce Nitrogen, Oxygen and Argon these trace impurities have to be removed since, some of these constitute a safety hazard in the cryogenic plant. A significant amount of information is available in the literature for the removal of Water and Carbon Dioxide from air. However, only limited information is available for the removal of other trace impurities. We discuss the results of an experimental study on the removal of these trace impurities from air. These days, air pre purification is carried out primarily by adsorption based technologies. There are two main choices: Thermal Swing Adsorption (TSA) processes, and Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) processes. Main differences between these two approaches and the trace impurity removal results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-250
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • ASUs
  • Adsorption
  • Air separation
  • Nitrous oxide
  • PPU
  • Pre-purification units
  • Trace removal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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