I have a 99,9% oxygen, with 0,1% is CO. Is it possible to separate the CO from oxygen in this mixture? The closer the percentage to 0 for CO, the better.

I've read about separation of oxygen from air, which involves liquifying them and conduct a fractional distillation (link of the article as attached).

My questions are:

  1. Is this method possible for this case? Does the small portion of CO hinder the possibility for further separation?
  2. Is it possible to separate them with an absorption process?
  3. Is there any other way that could be easier and cheaper?

Pardon me if the question sounds funny, because I have no background in this area. Any kind of help will be very much appreciated!

  • $\begingroup$ What are the freezing points of O2 and CO? $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 15, 2021 at 12:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ My first though is react with a platinum catayst to make CO2, then to bubble the gas though pure water and let the CO2 dissolve into the water. CO2 is about 100 times more soluble in water than oxygen. Not sure how far this can take it, though. CO isn't normally a significant contaminant in oxygen. Nitrogen and argon are the usual bugbears. $\endgroup$
    – Phil Sweet
    Aug 15, 2021 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ Of course it's possible. Whether or not it's feasible is subject to how important it is to save the CO. Usually CO is burned off into CO2, not separated. You would then use CO2 absorbers to get rid of the CO2. $\endgroup$
    – Tiger Guy
    Aug 16, 2021 at 13:08
  • $\begingroup$ Do you need to save all the O2? If you allow the O2 to convert CO into CO2, is that an allowable final result? $\endgroup$ Aug 17, 2021 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike in case that wasn't rhetorical, O2 is 54 K and 90 K (approx) while CO is 68 K and 82 K , so in theory cooling to 89K and extracting the liquid would suffice -- but I don't know the solubility rate of CO in liquid O2. $\endgroup$ Aug 17, 2021 at 13:04


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