Advanced Magnetic Air Separation Technology

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0019663
Agency Tracking Number: 242529
Amount: $149,988.87
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 22b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001940
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-02-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-11-18
Small Business Information
8276 Eagle Road, Larkspur, CO, 80118-8224
DUNS: 799077552
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Vetrovec
 (303) 681-0456
Business Contact
 John Vetrovec
Phone: (303) 681-0456
Research Institution
Coal is a plentiful natural resource in the U.S. but has been underused due to pollution resulting from conventional combustion. Gasification, as opposed to conventional combustion, is the most thermally efficient and cleanest way to convert the energy content of coal into electricity, hydrogen, clean fuels, and value-added chemicals. Gasification plants can run more efficiently and be configured to more economically capture CO2 if the oxidant is oxygen rather than air. The combustion of fossil fuels in nearly pure oxygen, rather than air, can simplify CO2 capture in fossil fuel power plants. When pure or enriched oxygen stream is used in a power plant, the volume of flue gas can be reduced by 75% compared with air-fired combustion [1]. The lower off-gas volume can not only reduce the removal cost of pollutants but also reduce NOx production due to near zero nitrogen presence. Traditional cryogenic technology for oxygen production is expensive and not scalable to smaller, 1-5 MW-class installations. Membrane and pressure swing absorption technologies offer advantageous scaling to the required size, but more effective and robust materials are still needed. Aqwest LLC proposes to develop and demonstrate an innovative magnetic air separator (MAS) for delivering oxygen- enriched air or near-pure oxygen to gasification plants and fossil fuel power plans. Injection of highly concentrated oxygen inexpensively produced by Aqwest MAS enables much more economical gasification and it will stimulate in wide adoption of the process. The resulting wider use of coal will lower energy costs and lessen country’s dependence on foreign oil. Other commercial applications include a point-of-use oxygen generators for laboratories, manufacturing processes, and health care. In Phase I, we will investigate engineering implementations of the MAS. In Phase II, we will develop a subscale MAS prototype and demonstrate generation of highly concentrated oxygen at representative rates.

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

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