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Low-temperature Chemical Looping Reforming Catalystsfor Small-footprint GTL

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0019929
Agency Tracking Number: 254627
Amount: $1,099,999.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 22a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0002156
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-08-24
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-08-23
Small Business Information
205 Ivyshaw Road
Cary, NC 27519-1509
United States
DUNS: 081318283
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Luke Neal
 (309) 868-2234
Business Contact
 Qingying Zha
Phone: (919) 757-9108
Research Institution
 North Carolina State University
 Laurine Perez
2701 Sullivan Drive Suite 240
Raleigh, NC 27695-7514
United States

 (919) 515-2444
 Nonprofit College or University

Over 468 billion cubic feet of natural gas was flared in the United State in 2018. This emitted nearly 25 million tons of CO2 while wasting an important domestic energy resource. This “stranded” natural gas, co-produced by shale oil wells, was flared because it is not cost-effective to transport due to low energy density. Although it would be highly desirable to convert this currently flared natural gas into easily transportable liquid fuels, the complexity of existing gas-to-liquids (GTL) technologies dictates that they cannot be economically scaled down to sizes compatible with typical oil wells, which co- produce 0.1-1.0 MMCF/day of natural gas. We propose a modular, mobile, turnkey GTL plant to convert stranded natural gas into diesel and wax products. This plant is enabled by our transformational Chemical Looping Reforming (CLR) technology. Reformers are the most expensive sections in GTL plants and are difficult to operate at small scales. Our advanced CLR process utilizes specially tailored mixed-metal oxide redox catalysts to partially oxidize (POx) natural gas to hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The regeneration of the redox catalyst in air makes the system heat sufficient while eliminating costly air separation. CLR in conjunction with another redox catalyst that can split water and CO2 POx byproducts, demonstrates significantly higher (“super-equilibrium”) syngas yields. This enables low temperature operation (<700 °C) with high efficiency, allowing cost-effective and compact reformers. The modular CLR system is composed of simple, parallel packed-bed reactor channels that can be manufactured via a numberd-up approach, making the system highly scalable. By greatly reducing capital costs, our CLR-GTL process is a breakthrough in modular GTL development. In Phase I, we demonstrated an advanced redox catalyst for over 400 cumulatively cycles in a large lab-scale reactor, proving the technical viability of CLR. We also demonstrated the feasibility of the “super-equilibrium” CLR configuration, confirming the ability to produce high-quality syngas at low temperatures. Techno-economic evaluation indicates a high likelihood that CLR-GTL can achieve capacity costs of ≤$100,000 per daily barrel liquids at scales ≤1 MMCF/day. In Phase II, we will fully integrate and demonstrate the redox catalysts under the super-equilibrium mode for more than 1,000 hours. We will also design, construct, and comprehensively demonstrate a 1,000 cubic feet per day prototype testbed. Finally, we will develop refined techno-economic analysis and a detailed design of the CLR-GTL plant to facilitate commercialization of the technology. Our CLR-GTL process will convert otherwise flared natural gas into value- added and easily transportable diesel fuel, kerosene, and/or specialty waxes. This will significantly reduce CO2 emissions from flaring and can result in >$3billion/year value creation.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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