SILO PSA - Pure and Simple

PSA Technology

Pressure swing adsorption is a proven technology that has been used for gas separation for over 70 years. PSA equipment generally consists of adsorbent beds, process valves, pipe spools, and PLC controls. This design was relatively unchanged with the exception of more sophisticated PSA cycles and new adsorbents for improved performance.

The introduction of rotary distributors over 20 years ago for industrial PSA equipment simplified and reduced costs for PSA equipment by replacing process valves and complex controls with a pair of rotary gas distributors and simple distributor speed control. Rotary PSA equipment are now widely used in small/medium capacity hydrogen plants and biogas upgrading applications.

The Pathway team has over 45 years' experience in pressure swing adsorption and in rotary PSA design, manufacturing, sales, and support. The team was integral to the development and commercialization of first generation rotary PSA equipment installed around the world today. SILO PSA embodies the latest advancements in rotary PSA technology.

SILO Technology

The name SILO is derived from "SIngle distributor, integrated fLOw" and the carbon fiber enclosure's distinct silo appearance. SILO PSA technology combines a patented single rotary distributor to eliminate over 50 process valves associated with comparable conventional PSA designs and an integrated flow design to replace over 30 pipe spools with flow channels built into the distributor assembly. The result is lower CapEx, greater reliability, and an extremely compact system.

First generation rotary PSAs require 2 rotary distributors. One distributor manages gas flows at each end of the adsorbent beds and a complex network of pipe spools is required to connect the beds to the distributors and pressure relief devices. The SILO PSA has only one rotary distributor and no pipe spools are required to connect the adsorbent beds to the distributor or pressure relief devices.

Advanced PSA cycles require more adsorbent beds and increased system complexity to implement in conventional and first generation rotary PSA equipment. In contrast, advanced PSA cycles can be implemented in SILO PSA with minimal added cost and complexity.

Field Replaceable Unit

With the exception of adsorbent beds, all of the functional elements of the SILO PSA are packaged into a sealed Field Replaceable Unit (FRU). The FRU provides all gas distribution, sealing, and PSA cycle functions. The FRU is inserted between the adsorbent beds above it and the gas inlets and outlets below it. The rotary distributor is driven by a speed controlled electric motor.

The FRU is smaller than 2 pizza boxes stacked (10cm H x 40cm Dia). If required, the FRU can be replaced in the field in under 4 hours and involves the replacement of the FRU only. SILO PSA delivers unparalleled RAS (reliability, availability, serviceability).

Field Replaceable Unit (in Detail)

Image: Edson Ng