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OxyCycle Membrane for High Purity Oxygen Separation from Air

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0021594
Agency Tracking Number: 0000256154
Amount: $199,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 25a
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-02-22
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-11-21
Small Business Information
301 1st Street SW, Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011-1921
United States
DUNS: 627132913
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Jesse Kelly
 (434) 220-2510
Business Contact
 Maggie Hudson
Phone: (434) 220-1559
Research Institution

There are increasingly greater factors motivating the use of clean coal technologies for power generation and the production of chemicals and fuels. Gasification forms the foundation of clean coal technologies being pursued by the Department of Energy, energy producers, and major chemicals manufacturers. More efficient, scalable, and cost-effective technologies are needed to separate oxygen from air for small-scale, modular gasifiers. The use of cryogenic air separation results in large prohibitively large operating and capital costs. A non-cryogenic air separation technology is needed to reduce expenses while enabling energy efficient gasification. Luna Innovations is developing the OxyCycle membrane to separate oxygen from air while reducing both capital and operating expenses. The technology combines the highest performance gas separation membrane with operation in the most energy efficient separation conditions and beneficial integration with gasifier infrastructure. The membrane utilizes a previously unharnessed thermochemical energy gradient to transfer oxygen from air directly into steam. There is enough energy in low-pressure, superheated plant steam generated within the gasification process to produce high purity oxygen. Luna has successfully demonstrated the membrane’s advantages in separating oxygen from air. Oxygen separation was verified on a membrane module prototype using a simulated steam sweep. The technical aspects of the proposed Phase I program will focus on membrane refinement and further scale-up. The separation rate, selectivity, stability, and manufacturing requirements (e.g. scalability, cost) will be optimized to demonstrate the highest performing oxygen separation technology available. The technology will be developed into larger membrane module prototypes and parametrically evaluated under higher fidelity conditions. Advancements in performance and manufacturing will be used to scale- up the technology and estimate its value through techno-economic analysis. Design and integration of the membrane technology with modular gasifiers will be evaluated with a primary focus on outperforming cryogenic air separation units. Luna will also develop the initial plans for a modular skid that generates larger quantities of oxygen. The skid concept will be used for transition and commercialization strategies, and actual construction of the modular design will be considered in follow-on efforts. Luna’s Thermochemical Membrane will transform gasification, power generation and chemical production by generating oxygen at conditions that lower capital costs and optimize efficiencies. Scalable, cost effective air separation is anticipated to benefit the public by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing the electric power grid, promoting the use of domestic coal resources, and improving the cost of consumer goods from oxygen consuming industries.

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

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