Hydrogen recovery

Hydrogen recovery captures the hydrogen from refinery gas streams coming from the hydrotreaters and hydrocracker.

There are three common methods for hydrogen recovery:

  • Cryogenic hydrogen recovery - The gas mixture is cooled to the point that the non-hydrogen components drop out as a liquid, allowing separation from the hydrogen
  • Pressure swing adsorption (PSA) - The gas mixture is passed through a molecular sieve solid adsorbent, which adsorbs the hydrocarbon and allows the hydrogen to pass through
  • Membrane diffusion - The gas mixture is separated by using pressure to force the hydrogen through a membrane that is hydrogen permeable but not permeable to large hydrocarbons

The Refinery Reference Desk includes content derived from our industry experts as well as from public data sources such as company websites. Nothing herein is intended to serve as investment advice. This material is based on information that we believe to be reliable and adequately comprehensive, but we do not represent that such information is in all respects accurate or complete. McKinsey Energy Insights does not accept any liability for any losses resulting from use of the content.

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