Adsorption technology is currently one of the most popular methods of air separation. At relatively low energy expenditure, this allows oxygen to be obtained with sufficient purity for oxyfuel, metallurgy or medical applications. The adsorption process is dependent on several factors such as pressure, temperature, the concentration of adsorbed element in the gas phase, or the surface area of the phase boundary. The paper shows the calculation of the minimum energy needed for oxygen separation taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of the adsorption methods. The article shows how many times the energy consumption of a real oxygen-separation plant is higher than the theoretical energy consumption, and indicates which components of the adsoption installation can be further improved. The paper is supported by research conducted on an oxygen-separation installation at a semi-technical scale.
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