Enhanced Methane Production by Co-Gasification of Potassium-Rich Biomass and Coal

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Energy
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$100,000.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
95231
Agency Tracking Number:
95440
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
25 a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
77 West 200 South, Suite 210, Salt Lake City, UT, 84101
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
612498220
Principal Investigator:
MichaelBockelie
Dr.
(801) 364-6925
bockelie@reaction-eng.com
Business Contact:
BradleyAdams
Dr.
(801) 364-6925
adams@reaction-eng.com
Research Institute:
University of Utah
Todd Nilsen
Office of Sponsored Projects
1471 E. Federal Way
Salt Lake City, UT, 84102
(801) 581-4913

Abstract
Natural gas, which is predominantly methane, is widely used by industry as a chemical feedstock and as a fuel for power generation. The increasing price and diminishing domestic supply of natural gas creates an incentive to develop a low-cost replacement for the fuel. Coal gasification is one approach to provide the alternative fuel. However, the dominant commercially available coal gasifiers are not designed or operated to provide large amounts of methane. In this project we will develop and demonstrate enhanced methane production from the co-gasification of potassium-rich biomass and coal. The use of potassium and other alkali metals to catalyze coal gasification is well established. In the presence of alkali metals, the gasifier can operate at lower temperatures and pressures. Providing the potassium in the biomass eliminates the need for expensive, proprietary catalysts that increase the cost of the gas produced. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Two commercial applications are targeted. 1) The primary target is to produce a gas with a low methane content that can be used to fire a fuel cell to generate electricity for (a) local power generation or (b) centralized power generation if a large number of fuel cells are employed. 2) A secondary target is to produce a gas with high methane content (i.e., substitute natural gas) that can be distributed via existing gas pipeline networks. If successful, the proposed process will provide an alternative fuel that is based on coal

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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