Novel Nano-Structured Catalyst for Steam Gasification of Carbonaceous Feedstocks
65531 Catalytic gasification of coal, when coupled with newly developed molten carbonate fuel cell technology, can provide electrical power generation with very high efficiency and extremely low emissions levels. However, the commercialization of catalytic coal gasification will require the development of new catalysts, as existing catalysts are impractical for use and present many operational drawbacks. The new catalysts must be reusable with longer lifetime, higher activity, and poisoning resistance. This project will develop novel supported catalysts for coal gasification that exhibit high gasification activity at low reaction temperatures, resistance to deactivation by SO2 and other minerals, and long lifetimes. In Phase I, the technical feasibility of synthesizing nano-structured supported catalysts was demonstrated, as was the short-term gasification activity of the catalysts in a bench-scale fixed bed reactor. In Phase II, further catalyst development work will be undertaken to reduce the cost of the catalyst and to optimize its physical and chemical properties. The catalyst¿s activity and stability properties will be demonstrated using thermogravimetric studies, fixed bed reactor tests, and larger-scale experiments in a fluid-bed gasifier. Forming procedures will be developed to adapt the catalyst physical structure to the requirements of fluidized bed gasifiers. The expected costs associated with use of the catalyst for gasification will be estimated based on the gasifier test data, and will be compared with analogous costs for non-catalytic gasification. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: Improved catalysts for coal gasification would enable the practical development of the gasification/fuel cell technology that could provide electrical power at very high efficiency, with competitive cost, and with extremely low pollutant levels. Catalytic coal gasification should also be competitive for the production of syngas in the manufacture of synthetic fuels, reducing dependence on imported petroleum.
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