Biogas upgrading—Computer-aided ionic liquid absorbent design and process evaluation

Daili Peng*, Francesco Picchioni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Biogas is a renewable energy source and needs to be upgraded to biomethane for injection into the natural gas grid or use as fuel. To design ionic liquid (IL) solvents for biogas upgrading, a computer-aided ionic liquid design (CAILD) method and the corresponding process simulation are presented. The UNIFAC-IL model is employed to calculate the solubility of gases in ILs, while group contribution (GC) based models are used to predict the physicochemical properties of ILs. By using the performance index (PI) as the objective function and the structural feasibility and physicochemical properties as constraints, a mixed-integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) problem is formulated and solved by the generate-and-test method. Two IL solvents, [MMPY][Tf2N] (1,3-dimethylpyridinium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide) and [MMPY][eFAP] (1,3-dimethylpyridinium tris(pentafluoroethyl) trifluorophosphate), are found to be the optimal IL solvents from 880 IL candidates. To perform the process simulation by using the designed ILs, the parameters for the equations of calculation of required properties are regressed. A sensitivity analysis is performed to find the optimal conditions for the process. Finally, the developed process is compared with the water-scrubbing process for biogas upgrading.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100088
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Ionic Liquids
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2024


  • Green solvents design
  • Process simulation
  • QSPR
  • Thermodynamics


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