SBIR Phase II: Catalyst for Biomass Gasification Processes

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0848877
Agency Tracking Number: 0740809
Amount: $508,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: BT
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
404 ENTERPRISE DR, LEWIS CENTER, OH, 43035
DUNS: 927606251
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Paul Matter
 DPhil
 (614) 842-6606
 p.matter@nextechmaterials.com
Business Contact
 Paul Matter
Title: DPhil
Phone: (614) 842-6606
Email: p.matter@nextechmaterials.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project focuses on improving efficiency and reducing cost associated with the production of energy, liquid fuels, and value-added chemicals from gasified biomass. Unlike most other sources of biofuels, gasification would not directly compete with food sources since virtually any organic matter can be used as the feedstock. Examples of feedstocks include agricultural residue, wood chips, and municipal waste. However, biomass gasification is currently a capital intensive process because of the difficulty with producing a clean syngas (free of tars and pollutants) for use in downstream turbines or chemical production steps. Tar removal is necessary to protect down-stream equipment in the process. Within this project, NexTech will develop and commercialize a novel catalytic monolith capable of reforming tars into a useful product, syngas, improving system efficiency. This will be done by first optimizing the processing steps required to produce the monolith, then verifying the monolith performance in independent testing. The end product will provide gasifier users with a simpler and less expensive method for tar removal than currently used approaches. The production of energy and liquid fuels from biomass will have a number of beneficial societal impacts. The gasification process is carbon neutral, since it uses CO2 that was captured from plants; therefore, biomass gasification will replace energy production from fossil fuels, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike fuel crops, biomass is a waste product that has no use for human consumption, so the technology does not compete with food sources. Further, using biomass as a source of energy will reduce the dependence of our nation on foreign sources of energy. The technology being developed could have application to a wide range of other catalytic reactions as well, including lean burn diesel engine exhaust treatment, hydrocarbon reforming and gas-to-liquid processes. From a scientific standpoint, the technology being developed in this project is unique from traditional catalysts, and the basic principles could be applied to a wide range of applications. Additionally, the work being carried out during this project will improve understanding of catalyst deactivation from sulfur poisoning and carbon formation. Overall, the project will contribute novel results to the body of literature in catalysis and materials development.

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

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