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Enhanced Methane Production by Co-Gasification of Potassium-Rich Biomass and…

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
25 a
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Reaction Engineering International
746 East Winchester Street Murray, UT 84107
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Enhanced Methane Production by Co-Gasification of Potassium-Rich Biomass and Coal
Agency: DOE
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $100,000.00


Natural gas, which is predominantly methane, is widely used by industry as a chemical feedstock and as a fuel for power generation. The increasing price and diminishing domestic supply of natural gas creates an incentive to develop a low-cost replacement for the fuel. Coal gasification is one approach to provide the alternative fuel. However, the dominant commercially available coal gasifiers are not designed or operated to provide large amounts of methane. In this project we will develop and demonstrate enhanced methane production from the co-gasification of potassium-rich biomass and coal. The use of potassium and other alkali metals to catalyze coal gasification is well established. In the presence of alkali metals, the gasifier can operate at lower temperatures and pressures. Providing the potassium in the biomass eliminates the need for expensive, proprietary catalysts that increase the cost of the gas produced. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Two commercial applications are targeted. 1) The primary target is to produce a gas with a low methane content that can be used to fire a fuel cell to generate electricity for (a) local power generation or (b) centralized power generation if a large number of fuel cells are employed. 2) A secondary target is to produce a gas with high methane content (i.e., substitute natural gas) that can be distributed via existing gas pipeline networks. If successful, the proposed process will provide an alternative fuel that is based on coal

Principal Investigator:

Michael Bockelie

Business Contact:

Bradley Adams
Small Business Information at Submission:

Reaction Engineering International
77 West 200 South Suite 210 Salt Lake City, UT 84101

EIN/Tax ID: 870474621
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
University of Utah
Office of Sponsored Projects
1471 E. Federal Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Contact: Todd Nilsen
Contact Phone: 8015814913