Helium and Hydrogen Purifiers

Over the past 20+ years, AET's cryogenic gas recovery purifiers have been successfully utilized by various US Department of Energy labs for scientific R&D, as well as by industrial companies for helium and hydrogen gas purification. Our purifiers are easily integrated into full scale Helium Recovery Systems. Those looking for full helium recovery systems are welcome to contact us for consultation and guidance, as well. Leveraging our state-of-the-art in-house testing capabilities, AET's engineers have continued to improve the design and ease of operation of our purifiers in order to meet the requirements of our diverse customer base.


Key Benefits:

    • Cryogenic Adsorption Method
    • More efficient than Pressure Swing Adsorption
    • Allows for high flow rates
  • High and Low Pressure Design Flexibility
  • Manual or Fully-Automated Operation
  • Ease of On-Site Service and Maintenance
  • Outlet Purity of 99.999%
  • Low Operational Cost
  • Skid and Non-Skid Mounted Versions Available
  • More than 20 Years of Operating Experience
  • In-House Testing Capability

To aid in the specification of a new purifier, Ability Engineering has created a spreadsheet for purification units. This spreadsheet can be downloaded here >> Purifier Data Sheet << and can be opened in a spreadsheet editing software such as Excel or LibreOffice Calcs.

Introduction

The Helium or Hydrogen Recovery Purifier is a cryogenic adsorber based purification system. It accepts a flow of gas at pressure and removes the impurities by adsorption. Silica gel or other similar adsorbents are used as the adsorbent material and it is submerged in liquid nitrogen. To preserve cryogenic fluids and promote conservation, the system has several heat exchangers to pre-cool the helium gas prior to its passage through the desiccant/adsorbent bed.

(Figure one shows a simplified version of a purifier)

Process Description

Impure gas flows to the purifier and splits into two streams. One stream passes through Heat Exchanger I, exchanging heat with the returning pure helium gas. The second, smaller stream, flows to Heat Exchanger II and is cooled counter- current to a stream of nitrogen gas leaving a boiling bath of liquid nitrogen. These two streams rejoin and flow to a coil submerged in a bath of liquid nitrogen within Heat Exchanger III, where it cools to within a degree of liquid nitrogen temperature.

It then enters a separator removing droplets of liquid nitrogen or oxygen. Level in the separator is monitored and any liquid that is collected is vented. The nitrogen boil-off gas exits the liquid nitrogen pot, cooling the smaller of the two incoming gas streams in Heat Exchanger II.

The process gas continues and enters a cold bed of silica gel, which acts as an adsorbent within the Adsorber, where the contaminants are adsorbed on the surface of the silica gel.

The full stream exits the bed and returns to Heat Exchanger I, where it exchanges heat with the larger incoming stream and leaves as purified gas.


Figure One
Ability Engineering Technology Inc. has developed high pressure helium recovery purifier in a few different key models, but can also provide systems outside that envelope.
Table A1 Illustrates AET's current high pressure gas purifier offerings.

TABLE A1 : HIGH PRESSURE HELIUM RECOVERY PURIFIERS
MODEL "A" (<100ppm) MODEL "B" (>100ppm)
FLOW (Nm3/hr) 0-150 151-250 0-150 151-250
SEPARATOR NO NO YES YES
VACUUM PUMP YES YES YES YES
HEATER YES YES YES YES
REGEN PROCESS SEMI-AUTOMATIC SEMI-AUTOMATIC SEMI-AUTOMATIC SEMI-AUTOMATIC
PRESSURE 3000PSIG PROCESS GAS 3000PSIG PROCESS GAS 3000PSIG PROCESS GAS 3000PSIG PROCESS GAS

There are also some options in regards to the high pressure purifiers, these can be seen in Table A2.

TABLE A2 : OPTIONS FOR HIGH PRESSURE PURIFICATION SYSTEMS
CONTROLS AUTOMATIC, SEMI-AUTOMATIC, MANUAL
ADSORBENT MEDIA CARBON, SILICA, ALUMINA, ZEOLITES
OIL REMOVAL SKID YES OR NO
H20 REMOVAL SKID YES OR NO
VACUUM VESSEL MATERIAL CARBON STEEL OR STAINLESS STEEL
DISCHARGE PIPING STAINLESS STEEL, POLISHED, ELECTROPOLISHED
ADSORBER VESSEL STAMP PED, ASME, CHINESE, RUSSIAN, JAPANESE
UNIT QUANTITY 1, 2, 3, ETC.

Please contact us for your all of your high pressure purifier needs. If you are requiring something outside the realm of what we show here on this site, we can provide a custom quote!

Ability Engineering Technology Inc. has a long history of providing low pressure (350psi) models of Helium Recovery Purifiers to the cryogenic industrial and scientific lab markets. Table B1 displays some of our current models and their capabilities.



TABLE B1 : LOW PRESSURE HELIUM RECOVERY PURIFIERS
MODEL LP30P LP60P LP100P
MAWP OF HELIUM CIRCUIT 350PSIG 350PSIG 350PSIG
NAWP OF NITROGEN CIRCUIT 100PSIG 100PSIG 100PSIG
WORKING TEMPERATURE RANGE -350 DEG. F -350 DEG. F -350 DEG. F
HELIUM FLOW RATE 30g/sec 60g/sec 100g/sec
HELIUM SUPPLY DESIGN CONDITIONS 300 PSIA / 300K 300 PSIA / 300K 300 PSIA / 300K
EXIT IMPURITY LEVEL <1ppmv <1ppmv <1ppmv
REGENERATION TIMEFRAME 24 HOURS 24 HOURS 24 HOURS
HEATER INCLUDED? YES YES YES
VACUUM PUMP INCLUDED YES YES YES


There are some options that can be considered with Ability Engineering's low pressure helium recovery purifiers. These options can be seen in Table B2.



TABLE B2 : OPTIONS FOR LOW PRESSURE PURIFICATION SYSTEMS
CONTROLS AUTOMATIC, SEMI-AUTOMATIC, MANUAL
ADSORBENT MEDIA CARBON, SILICA, ALUMINA, ZEOLITES
OIL REMOVAL SKID YES OR NO
H20 REMOVAL SKID YES OR NO
LIQUID SEPARATOR UNIT YES OR NO
VACUUM VESSEL MATERIAL CARBON STEEL OR STAINLESS STEEL
DISCHARGE PIPING STAINLESS STEEL, POLISHED, ELECTROPOLISHED
ADSORBER VESSEL STAMP PED, ASME, CHINESE, RUSSIAN, JAPANESE

Though we have three standard models available, we offer engineering services to meet your requirements.
Please contact us for all of your low pressure helium purification needs.

Some applications and industries that would benefit from gas purification include:

  • Testing Centers
  • Liquid Natural Gas Relocation
  • Cryogenic Storage
  • Industrial Gas Sellers

  • Tools related to Helium Purification:

  • Unit Converter

  • Ability Engineering has many products that can be applied to our purification systems:

  • Bayonets
  • Pumpouts
  • Flex Assemblies
  • Cryogenic Process Valves (Manual or Actuated)
  • Cryogenic Check Valves
  • Feel free to contact us for more information regarding any of our products.

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