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Poison Resistant Water-Gas-Shift Catalyst for Biomass and Coal Gasification

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
26 b
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave. Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Poison Resistant Water-Gas-Shift Catalyst for Biomass and Coal Gasification
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-10ER85779
Award Amount: $1,000,000.00


Co-feeding biomass with coal in a gasification-based synthetic fuels plant has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 50% or more. Unfortunately, the catalysts currently used to convert the syngas from the coal-biomass gasifier are poisoned by compounds that originate in the biomass and coal. Thus, the development of poison-resistant catalysts will advance coal-biomass-to-liquids (CBTL) technology or carbon free integrated gasification combined cycle. The water gas shift (WGS) reaction that converts the CO in syngas to hydrogen is an important step in all synthetic fuels processes. Hydrogen sulfide (from coal or heavy hydrocarbons) poisons conventional WGS catalysts, thus sulfur tolerant WGS catalysts are widely used. Unfortunately, they must be run at higher temperatures than conventional WGS catalysts and consequently convert less CO to hydrogen (because of equilibrium limitations). TDA Research Inc. (TDA) has developed a new sour WGS catalyst that is as active as conventional low temperature water-gas-shift catalysts and which is not poisoned by sulfur and other contaminants present in syngas produced during the gasification of coal and biomass. Our catalyst converts more CO to hydrogen, improves the energy efficiency and economics of CBTL and integrated gasification combined cycles (IGCC plants). It can be used as a drop-in replacement for existing catalysts. In Phase II, we will optimize the catalyst formulation, scale up catalyst synthesis and perform extensive lifetime activity testing with a wide variety of contaminants present in syngas derived from the co-gasification of coal and biomass. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Sulfur-tolerant water gas shift catalysts are not only useful for converting coal and biomass to liquid fuels, but are routinely used in gasification or partial oxidation processes that run on coal, coke, bitumen and other heavy hydrocarbon feedstocks. Therefore in addition to synfuels production, they will also find applications in petroleum refineries, methanol and ammonia plants, and stationary power production.

Principal Investigator:

Girish Srinivas

Business Contact:

John D. Wright
Small Business Information at Submission:

Tda Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave. Wheat Ridge, CO -

EIN/Tax ID: 841043375
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No