Vol 7, No 4 (2016) > Chemical Engineering >

Biogas from Palm Oil Mill Effluent: Characterization and Removal of CO2 using Modified Clinoptilolite Zeolites in a Fixed-Bed Column

Eny Kusrini, Maya Lukita, Misri Gozan, Bambang Heru Susanto, Teguh Wikan Widodo, Dedy Alharis Nasution, Shella Wu, Arif Rahman, Yusraini Dian Inayati Siregar


Abstract: The
main focus of this article was to investigate the potential of natural zeolite
adsorbent for the removal of CO2 and H2S in biogas
produced from palm oil mill effluent
(POME) in fixed-bed column adsorption. The effects of the flowrates and dosage of the adsorbent on
the CO2 adsorption were also studied. The surface area of the
adsorbent was determined using the Brunauer, Emmett, and Teller (BET) model,
while the pore size distribution was calculated according to the Barrett,
Joyner, and Halenda (BJH) model. The morphology of the adsorbent was determined
by field emission scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray
(FESEM-EDX) analysis. Before and after purification, the biogas was analyzed by
gas chromatography with a thermal conductivity detector and
polydimethylsiloxane as a column. Biogas from the POME, via the anaerobic
digestion process, produced 89% CH4 and 11% CO2. The
surface and structure of the clinoptilolite zeolites was modified by a strong
acid (1M HCl), strong base (1M NaOH), and calcination at 450°C, and the surface area
of the natural zeolites was reduced up to 16%. The working capability of CO2
adsorption by the modified zeolites decreased with increasing flow rates
(100, 200, and 300 mL/min) of the biogas, with levels of CO2 at
106,906, 112,237, and 115,256 mg/L. The
removal of the CO2 in the biogas by using adsorbent dosages of 1.5,
2.0, and 2.5 g was 97,878, 97,404 and 93,855
mg/L, respectively. The optimum purification of the biogas occurred under the
flow rate of 100 mL/min and adsorbent dosage of 2.5 g. The high working capability of the modified zeolites for the
removal of CO2 in the biogas was a key factor, and the most
important characteristic for the adsorbent. The results indicate that clinoptilolite zeolites are promising
adsorbent materials for both the purification and upgrading of biogas.
Keywords: Biogas; Clinoptilolite zeolite; Fixed-bed column adsorption; Palm oil mill effluent; Purification

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