Robust, Low-Cost Membranes for Hydrogen Production from Coal-Derived Syngas

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-06ER84594
Agency Tracking Number: 80540S06-I
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: 18
Solicitation Number: DE-FG01-05ER05-28
Small Business Information
186 Cedar Hill Street, Marlborough, MA, 01752
DUNS: 012925504
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mark Fokema
 (508) 481-5058
Business Contact
 Mark Fokema
Title: Dr
Phone: (508) 481-5058
Research Institution
The production of hydrogen from coal offers the potential for increased power generation efficiency, reduced pollutant emissions, and the production of valuable chemical products. This project will develop a novel, low-cost, hydrogen membrane with improved durability for the production of high-purity hydrogen from coal-derived syngas. The use of such membranes in water-gas-shift membrane reactors for hydrogen generation from coal offer the advantages of: (1) generating more hydrogen in a single shift reactor, (2) simplifying or completely eliminating downstream hydrogen separation and purification processes, and (3) producing a high-pressure carbon dioxide-rich stream that can be sequestered to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This project will develop hydrogen permeable membranes that possess high hydrogen permeability, high hydrogen selectivity, high tolerance to impurities, and low materials cost. The membrane technology will be applicable to coal-derived syngas streams that contain sulfur and halides. In Phase I, defect-free metal membranes with thicknesses less than 100 microns were fabricated. The permeabilities of the membranes were measured in the presence of hydrogen and common coal-derived syngas impurities. Stable membrane performance in the presence of these impurities was demosntrated. In Phase II, additional membrane compositions will be prepared and evaluated, membrane fabrication techniques will be scaled up to produce membranes sized for practical applications, and a water gas shift membrane reactor operating on coalderived syngas will be designed and demonstrated. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The membrane should find immediate application in water-gas shift reactors for high-purity hydrogen generation from coal and other sulfur-containing fuels, such as diesel and jet fuel. This application would enable lower-cost hydrogen production for the Hydrogen Economy. The technology also should be applicable to hydrogen production from other fossil fuels; as a consequence, it would offer significant potential to improve the Nation¿s energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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

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