Syngas Production by Thermochemical Conversion of H2O and CO2 Mixtures Using a Novel Reactor Design

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-10ER85849
Agency Tracking Number: 95521
Amount: $1,000,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: 22 a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000508
Small Business Information
1046 New Holland Ave., Lancaster, PA, 17601-5606
DUNS: 126288336
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Howard Pearlman
 (717) 295-6815
Business Contact
 Jon Zuo
Title: Dr.
Phone: (717) 295-6058
Research Institution
The overall goal of this Phase II project is to develop a prototype of a thermochemical reactor for the production of syngas (a blend of hydrogen and carbon monoxide) using water and carbon dioxide as the reactants. New materials will also be screened for their ability to reduce the reactor temperature. Syngas is a particularly attractive fuel since it can be used to synthesize liquid fuels and chemicals such as methanol and ammonia. Today, most syngas is made by reforming methane and gasifying coal; however, these processes require nonrenewable energy and materials, and contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The proposed technology derives the heat needed for the thermochemical process from solar energy. In Phase I, a detailed thermal model was developed and used to guide the design of a thermochemical reactor prototype. The feasibility of the technology was successfully demonstrated; CO and H2 were measured in bench-scale experiments. New materials were also assessed for use in the reactor and a promising material was identified, yet new materials will continue to be screened. A multi-reactor prototype will be developed in Phase II that will enable continuous production of syngas. Industry partners will help assess the economics for a scaled-up pilot scale plant and support commercialization of the technology. In Phase I, the feasibility of the concept was successfully demonstrated. A thermal model of the entire cycle was developed and a laboratory-scale, high-temperature, thermochemical reactor was designed, fabricated, and tested. The dissociation of CO2 into CO and O2 and the production of H2 production from water were demonstrated. New materials were screened for use in the reactor and a promising candidate material with a slightly different composition from that used in Phase I was identified. The technology was discussed with several commercial partners that will support commercialization of the technology in Phase II. In Phase II, the thermal model will be expanded to include chemical kinetics and more detailed radiation heat transfer. The model will be used to optimize the design of a multi-reactor prototype to achieve nearly continuous production of syngas. The fuel productivity will be measured in the multi-reactor system and results compared to target metrics. New material compositions will be evaluated for potential use in the thermochemical reactor. In parallel, ACT will work with our industry partners to commercialize the technology. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The proposed technology is a non-fossil fuel based approach to generate fuels from CO2 and H2O. The CO2 may be sequestered from coal and fossil fuel power plants. In this approach, the carbon that was initially stored in the fossil fuel is re-used. By & apos;re-using & apos; the carbon in the fuel, the demand for petroleum can be reduced and our dependence on foreign oil limited. Syngas is also used to make liquid fuels, alcohols and other chemicals that can be reformed to make commercial products, e.g., plastics. High-temperature fuel cells also operate on syngas.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government