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Plasma Exhaust Purification by Thermal Swing Adsorption: Experimental Results and Modeling

I. Ricapito, C. Malara

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 29 / Number 2 / March 1996 / Pages 219-231


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For several years at the Joint Research Centre-Ispra laboratories, cyclic adsorption processes have been developed for the purification of the plasma exhaust stream of a deuterium-tritium fusion reactor. A purification process consisting of two coupled thermal swing adsorption systems seemed to be the most convenient process. In this context, a screening study was carried out to select the most suitable adsorbent materials and appropriate working temperatures. This was mainly done by experimental measurements of adsorption isotherms of the single components of the plasma exhaust stream and by a careful evaluation of the multicomponent adsorption equilibria. Experiments on adsorption dynamics were carried out in a pilot plant to demonstrate the feasibility and to evaluate the performance of the process. The experimental apparatus was designed to treat gas mixture flow rates up to 20 to 30 standard temperature and pressure ℓ/h. A mathematical model was developed and tested against the experimental results to describe the adsorption process and, in particular, to evaluate and to optimize the process cycle time.

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