A method for the separation of a gas mixture comprises (a) obtaining a feed gas mixture comprising nitrogen and at least one hydrocarbon having two to six carbon atoms; (b) introducing the feed gas mixture at a temperature of about 60.degree. F. to about 105.degree. F. into an adsorbent bed containing adsorbent material which selectively adsorbs the hydrocarbon, and withdrawing from the adsorbent bed an effluent gas enriched in nitrogen; (c) discontinuing the flow of the feed gas mixture into the adsorbent bed and depressurizing the adsorbent bed by withdrawing depressurization gas therefrom; (d) purging the adsorbent bed by introducing a purge gas into the bed and withdrawing therefrom an effluent gas comprising the hydrocarbon, wherein the purge gas contains nitrogen at a concentration higher than that of the nitrogen in the feed gas mixture; (e) pressurizing the adsorbent bed by introducing pressurization gas into the bed; and (f) repeating (b) through (e) in a cyclic manner.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-FC02-00CH110022 between Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. and the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights to this invention.