Additively Manufactured Cryogenic Microchannel Distillation Device for
The efficiency of air separation is tested using three different small
scale cryogenic distillation columns. The performance of a random packed
column is compared to the performance of two microchannel distillation
(MCD) columns that use thin wicking structures and gas flow channels to
achieve process intensification. The MCD columns tested include a
plate-type layered (PTL) column and an additively manufactured porous
honeycomb (AMPH) column. For columns with 25.4 cm of active height and
run under similar conditions, the packed, PTL, and AMPH columns achieved
approximate height equivalent of a theoretical plate (HETP) values of
5.5, 3.7, and 3.2 cm for nitrogen, and 5.9, 4.9, and 3.3 cm for argon.
The AMPH column can produce up to 0.4 SLM of 90+% purity oxygen with 12
W of cooling lift. These results demonstrate the feasibility of using
additive manufacturing to construct MCD devices and pave a way for
constructing novel MCD designs.