Improved Hydrogen Purification

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-10ER85923
Agency Tracking Number: 94668
Amount: $998,213.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: 10 c
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000508
Small Business Information
335 Water Street, Newport, DE, 19804-2410
DUNS: 808898894
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Stuart Nemser
 (302) 999-7996
Business Contact
 Stuart Nemser
Title: Dr.
Phone: (302) 999-7996
Research Institution
Industrial hydrogen production relies primarily on natural gas and hydrocarbon feedstocks to drive the various reaction chemistries that lead to hydrogen generation. Carbon dioxide, the ultimate co-product when such feedstocks and processes are employed, necessarily becomes a major contaminant of the generated hydrogen. Thus, carbon dioxide isolation and removal is an important process step in the efficient, low cost purification and recovery of hydrogen from the intermediate reformed and synthesis gases. A new proprietary, chemically resistant and highly durable membrane developed in this project promises to improve the separation efficiency and to dramatically reduce energy requirements for the separation of carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The proposed membrane and process also addresses the ease of isolating carbon dioxide for efficient capture and sequestration. Base data showed CO2/H2 selectivities as high as 15 in combination with a membrane system that can have CO2 permeance of over 1000 GPU. When compared to both amine scrubbers and pressure swing absorption processes, the CMS membrane process has dramatically lower capital and operating costs. Costs for a typical CMS membrane system is $58/MM SCF H2 while PSA and amine scrubber costs are between $162 and $1,072 MM SCF H2 for the same 99% H2 purity. Key objectives for Phase II include integration of all key components that were successfully demonstrated in Phase I into a system and this will be followed by both optimizing the system and then scaling the system up for pilot demonstration. Overall Phase II objective is to use the basic data from pilot demonstration to show capital cost and operating cost reductions of 50% and 35% respectively. Given our excellent success in Phase I, a number of key players and individuals are actively participating in Phase II. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Besides the hydrogen generation processes mentioned already, the new membrane promises to have broad application in the hydrogen economy, hydrogen processing, synthesis gas production, hydrotreating, and sulfur removal processes. Improvements in hydrogen purification and separation efficiencies and the ready isolation of a concentrated carbon dioxide co-product will have direct benefits in emissions reductions, energy independence, and carbon management. In addition to addressing specific needs of CO2 separation from H2, this platform will also address a broad Department of Energy need for high temperature and chemically resistant membranes.

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

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