PhD Defense by Taehun Kim

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Taehun Kim

(A 6th-year Ph.D. candidate, the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering,
the Georgia Institute of Technology, Advisor: Prof. Joseph K. Scott)

will defend a doctoral dissertation entitled,

Computational Methods for Intensifying the Design and Operation of Pressure Swing Adsorption Processes


Tuesday, February 7th, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. (EST)

Ford ES&T L1120 or Teams Meeting


Abstract: The objective of this doctoral dissertation is to advance the state-of-the-art modeling and simulation methodologies for pressure swing adsorption (PSA) processes. PSA has attracted significant recent interest for chemical process intensification due to its potential for high energy efficiency relative to thermal separations, and its amenability to small, modular designs. However, the current lack of PSA simulation tools that are freely available, transparent, and trusted, has been identified as a serious impediment to widespread adoption of PSA, as well as to further academic research on PSA modeling, numerical solution, optimization, and control. To address this challenge, this dissertation presents a complete framework for dynamic modeling and simulation of PSA processes and its implementation in an open-source PSA process simulator, primarily written in MATLAB®. The presentation is tutorial and includes many modeling and implementation details often overlooked in existing literature. Novel methods are also presented for modeling and implementing various pressure-flow relationships and controlled boundary conditions. The simulator also contains several innovations designed to improve efficiency and reduce the extensive trial-and-error tuning often required to produce a working PSA cycle in silico. More specifically, the simulator includes a novel flow-driven simulation mode and event-based switching criteria that together offer a unique degree of control over the pressures and compositions achieved during simulation. Therefore, when evaluating a candidate PSA process for an industrial deployment, the practitioners can utilize the user-friendly simulator and predict a set of relevant key performance metrics, which can be compared to those of any other competing separation process technologies. Not only that, since the simulator can act as a rapid and inexpensive in silico screening tool for exploring the design and operation of a given PSA process, the practitioners can significantly improve the cost-and-time-effectiveness of their PSA process deployment projects. Finally, the simulator can serve as an excellent development platform for testing novel numerical solution methods, as well as advanced control strategies, that can be of tremendous help, especially when simulating a novel PSA process involving a complex PSA cycle or nonideal adsorption equilibrium and rate phenomena.


·       Prof. Joseph K. Scott, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Dissertation Advisor

·       Prof. Ryan P. Lively, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

·       Prof. Matthew J. Realff, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

·       Prof. Nikolaos V. Sahinidis, School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

·       Prof. Krista S. Walton, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Created: 01/19/2023
  • Modified By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Modified: 01/23/2023