Inert Gas Generation and Oxygen-enriched Air for Partial Oxidation Processes
Publication Date: 2003-Sep-12
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Partial oxidation of gaseous, liquid and solid hydrocarbon materials is an increasingly important chemical route to the production of clean burning fuel gases and synthesis gases (syngas). Syngas is the precursor to the production of chemical products such as acetic acid, methanol, waxes, synthetic oil derivatives and a host of related higher value end products. The oxidant for the partial oxidation step is usually a purified oxygen stream supplied from an air separation unit (ASU). Oxygen purity typically ranges from 95 to 99.5+ percent by volume. In an effort to reduce capital cost some process developers have proposed substituting air for oxygen in the partial oxidation process. The purpose of this paper is to explore some opportunities for the production of the nitrogen that is always required for inerting and purging, and for the simultaneous production of oxygen for enrichment purposes in the "air blown" partial oxidation processes.