PSA Hydrogen Purification

PSA Hydrogen Purification

Hydrogen gas is produced from a variety of different processes and is typically produced in an impure form. Typical processes include chemical synthesis by methane steam reforming, off-gassing from styrene or ethylene plants where hydrogen gas is produced as a by-product, and petrochemical applications such as hydrocracking or desulphurization. To use the hydrogen, a purification process is necessary to create purified hydrogen gas. Hydrogen pressure swing adsorption (H2PSA) is a process that capitalizes on the volatility of hydrogen and its overall lack of polarity and affinity for zeolites to purify contaminated gas streams.

Hydrogen generation typically involves the production of contaminants or side products that need to be removed. It includes compounds such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water and unreacted hydrocarbons. Hydrogen PSA takes advantage of the preferential adsorption of these components, eliminating them from the hydrogen stream to yield purified hydrogen.

Traditionally, Hydrogen PSA takes advantage of multiple sieve beds and is comprised of four phases: an adsorption phase, a depressurization phase, a regeneration phase and a repressurization phase. In the process, the impure stream of hydrogen is passed into the sieve bed where impurities are selectively adsorbed onto the molecular sieve under pressure. After the adsorption step is completed, regeneration is accomplished by depressurizing the bed which decreases the affinity of the impurities allowing them to be discarded. Further purification of the bed is achieved by purging with pure hydrogen to remove any remaining contaminants. The bed is again pressurized to repeat the adsorption process. The beds run in sync to allow continuous hydrogen generation.

Zeochem announces partnership with Headwater Solutions to enhance PSA Hydrogen capabilities

After a professional relationship spanning two decades, Zeochem and Headwaters Solutions LLC have partnered to supply new H2 PSA units worldwide and to provide advanced revamp services to extend H2 PSAU product recovery and purity. Leveraging Zeochem’s unique capabilities in high adsorption capacity zeolites for critical impurities and Headwaters’ extensive experience in building H2 PSA units and developing innovations in PSA control and fabrication, the H2 PSA’s supplied through our global partnership equal or exceeds the highest known performance standards. To learn more please visit Headwater Solutions.

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Contact Zeochem to discuss your current or future hydrogen purification needs

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Related Products


Type 13X offers enhanced adsorption properties and the ability to remove impurities too large to be adsorbed by the type A zeolites.


5A is the calcium-exchanged form of the type A zeolite molecular sieve and is primarily used for removing carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, alcohols and other oxygenates, hydrogen sulfide, methyl and ethyl mercaptans, and others.

Calcium X

Calcium X (CaX) and Calcium LSX (CaLSX) molecular sieves are the calcium-exchanged forms of the 13X and LSX type zeolites.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, Zeochem has partnered with Headwater Solutions to provide the design and construction of the units. To learn more, please visit Headwater Solutions.

Yes, we can, but we prefer and always recommend to use FCA, CFR/CIF and DAP incoterms for smoother and more cost effective deliveries; Zeochem can help with freight organization.

Shelf life of an unopened drum, properly stored, is warranted for 5 years.In practice it can remain fresh indefinitely as long as the drum remains sealed and properly stored. The sieve is chemically stable, and does not break down over time in storage. Once a drum is opened, the material should be consumed quickly. If a partial drum needs to be stored for later use, it is recommended to close the bag.