IACX’s patented processes utilize a method of separation called pressure swing adsorption ("PSA"), a technology widely utilized around the world in a multitude of industrial gas separation applications.
PSA works like gravity on a molecular scale. A feed gas stream is introduced into a pressure vessel that is filled with specialized carbon pellets (inert, odorless and non-hazardous) characterized by enormous surface areas and unique molecular-sized pore structures. Under pressure, certain molecules are naturally attracted to the carbon surface (“adsorption”) while other gases pass through unaffected. Once the carbon adsorbent is fully loaded with target gas, the feed stream is diverted to an alternative bed. The pressure in the loaded bed is dropped and a vacuum is engaged, causing the adsorbed target gas (hydrocarbons in the case of our Nitrogen Sponge) to release, or desorb, from the carbon. The beds are completely regenerated as a result of this low pressure “swing” and the process is repeated. Multiple vessels are used to produce a continuous flow of gas through the system.
The IACX systems require minimal oversight and run largely unattended. A programmable logic controller (PLC) controls each NRU and allows for remote monitoring. The PLC is designed to automatically adjust timing sequences in order to compensate for changes in the feed stream's flow rate, composition and ambient temperature. In the event of an unscheduled shut-down, the PLC sends out an alarm to an IACX operator for prompt response.