Area of Interest 1- Clean Hydrogen Cost Reductions via Process Intensification & Modularization for Hydrogen Shot

Metallic Membrane Reactors: An Intensified Process to Transforming the Production of Carbon-Neutral Hydrogen – Clarkson University (Potsdam, New York) plans to develop a potentially transformational approach to produce low-cost, carbon-neutral hydrogen from biomass gasification using hydrogen-selective membrane-assisted water-gas shift reactors (MAWGS). In this approach, hydrogen is produced from the water-gas shift reaction and simultaneously separated from the mixture gas without undergoing other treatments that remove pollutants and separate it. The key goal is the synthesis of a reliable hydrogen-selective membrane material with long-term stability, high permeability, and selectivity. Process modeling, life cycle assessment, and techno-economic analysis will be conducted to determine the best option for the location of the MAWGS in the modular gasification process, environmental impact, and ability of the MAWGS technology to provide a pathway for achieving the Department of Energy’s Hydrogen Shot goals.

DOE Funding: $535,000; Non-DOE Funding: $137,382; Total Value: $672,382


Catalytic Membrane Reactors Based on Carbon Molecular Sieve Hollow Fiber Membranes for Sustainable and Modular hydrogen ProductionThe Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of University at Buffalo (Buffalo, New York), with partners Los Alamos National Laboratory and Trimeric, plan to demonstrate a process-intensified system for economically viable, modular hydrogen production from waste biomass using a catalytic membrane reactor (CMR) based on carbon molecular sieve (CMS) hollow fiber membranes. The CMR will be developed to selectively remove hydrogen during the high-temperature WGS reaction to circumvent thermodynamic limitations on the conversion of carbon monoxide (CO) to carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen. The team will design membrane reactors for high-temperature WGS reaction by integrating hydrogen-selective membranes, catalysts, and optimized process designs; prepare and optimize CMS hollow fiber membrane modules to achieve high hydrogen permeance and hydrogen/CO2 selectivity; design and prepare nano-catalysts with high WGS activity and stability under CMR conditions; prepare and characterize the CMRs for high-temperature WGS reactions using simulated and real syngas containing hydrogen sulfide, CO, and water vapor; and conduct the process design and analysis based on the newly developed membranes for hydrogen/CO2 separations.

DOE Funding: $1,600,000; Non-DOE Funding: $500,000; Total Value: $2,100,000


Intensification of Hydrogen Production Enabled by Electrochemical Pumping Module for Purification and Compression The Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri), in collaboration with Skyre Inc., plans to develop and demonstrate an innovative electrochemical hydrogen pump technology that will significantly reduce the cost of clean hydrogen production from small-scale (5-50MW) biomass gasification units. The project will achieve this cost reduction through substantial process intensification by combining two energy-intensive process steps—hydrogen purification and compression—into a single step and replacing inefficient and scale-driven purification and compression units with a single modular electrochemical purifier/pump. The modular nature of these electrochemical cells enables utilization at similar efficiency at any gasification unit scale.

DOE Funding: $1,600,000; Non-DOE Funding: $401,311; Total Value: $2,001,311


Modular Biomass Gasification for Co-Production of Hydrogen and Power University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, North Dakota), in partnership with Envergex LLC, Singularity Energy Technologies, and the North Dakota Industrial Commission’s Renewable Energy Program, intends to demonstrate a novel process-intensified and modular combined hydrogen heat and power production technology. The process technology integrates a novel adaptation of the steam-iron process to produce high-purity hydrogen from the gasification of biomass and biomass blends with a compression-ready CO2 stream. The proposed technology addresses the challenges to small-scale modular hydrogen production by (1) developing a novel iron-based material with multi-functionality (oxygen carrier material) that combines syngas purification, hydrogen production, and CO2 separation (process intensification); (2) adopting a commercially available, low-cost, modular, moving bed gasification, specifically designed for variable quality feedstocks at feed rates of 25–50 tonnes per day per module; and (3) tightly integrating the gasification process and synthesis gas conversion process.

DOE Funding: $1,600,000; Non-DOE Funding: $520,000; Total Value: $2,120,000


Process Intensification of Hydrogen Production through Sorption-Enhanced Gasification of Biomass University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah) plans to demonstrate the feasibility of sorption-enhanced biomass gasification for production of hydrogen-rich syngas in a dual fluidized bed (DFB) reactor operating under industrially relevant conditions.  The project will homogenize and prepare waste biomass to ensure reliable feed to a DFB process development unit (PDU). The PDU will operate as a conventional DFB gasifier with olivine bed material, then as sorption-enhanced gasification (SEG) by adding limestone to the bed material and, finally, as an oxy-SEG by fluidizing the combustor with an oxygen/CO2 mix. Complementary lab-scale studies will provide rate data that will feed into computational models of the gasifier and overall process. The SEG approach will simplify production of hydrogen from biomass by pre-processing the biomass to ensure consistent composition and trouble-free feeding. This will then be fed to a DFB gasifier with the addition of limestone to achieve in-situ removal of CO2 from the gasifier to create a clean, high-hydrogen syngas.

DOE Funding: $1,595,957; Non-DOE Funding: $399,040; Total Value: $1,994,997


Producing Clean Hydrogen Using a Modular Two-Stage Intensified Membrane-Enhanced Catalytic Gasifier West Virginia University Research Corporation (Morgantown, West Virginia) plans to develop a highly intensified gasifier that, when coupled with a solid sorbent-based pre-combustion CO2 capture system and a few of the plant equipment items, generates fuel-cell grade hydrogen and sequestration-ready CO2 using a highly mass- and heat-intensified process. Project tasks include experimental work synergistically coupled with computational tasks leveraging learning from the experimental studies for optimizing the process and improving its economics. The research team will also produce validated rigorous unit- and plant-level models for design and optimization of the modular scaled-up process, as well as a preliminary techno-economic analysis. Outcomes include >99.9% purity hydrogen, a sequestration-ready CO2-rich stream with >96.5% CO2 purity, a process that can generate gasification steam, and a modular and highly intensified system with far fewer equipment items compared to traditional gasification systems.

DOE Funding: $1,498,751; Non-DOE Funding: $374,963; Total Value: $1,873,714


Area of Interest 2A - Clean Hydrogen from High-Volume Waste Materials and Biomass

Hydrogen Production from Modular CO2 Assisted Oxy-Blown Gasification of WasteAuburn University (Auburn, Alabama), along with partner RTI International, intends to develop a novel process to produce hydrogen from blended feedstock that includes legacy waste coal, forest residues, and the organic-rich fraction of municipal solid waste via CO2-assisted oxy-blown gasification. The proposed project will demonstrate the integration of CO2-assisted oxy-blown gasification with novel, modular technologies for syngas cleanup and conditioning, including RTI’s Fixed Bed Warm Desulfurization Process, Trace Contaminant Removal Process, and Advanced Fixed-bed Water-Gas Shift. Successful completion will provide experimental and modeling data to support informed decisions on feedstock preparation to minimize contaminants of concern in syngas and advanced technologies needed for syngas conditioning and cleanup for producing high-purity (99.97%) hydrogenat a scale of 5–50 megawatts electric.

DOE Funding: $1,574,002; Non-DOE Funding: $401,961; Total Value: $1,975,963


Fluidized Bed Gasification for Conversion of Biomass and Waste Materials to Renewable HydrogenGas Technology Institute (Des Plaines, Illinois) and partners Idaho National Laboratory and Electric Power Research Institute plan to advance fluidized bed gasification technology for a hydrogen production plant from feedstock blends of biomass, waste plastics, and municipal solid waste with the goal to enable the application of small modular gasifiers producing hydrogen from low-cost waste materials available at local communities. GTI will build upon its proven U-GAS® fluidized bed gasification technology, and in the future will deploy the currently proposed project results on a large scale via its subsidiary, SunGas Renewables.

DOE Funding: $1,600,000; Non-DOE Funding: $400,000; Total Value: $2,000,000


Performance Testing to Advance Modular, Moving-Bed Gasification for the Generation of Low-Cost, Clean Hydrogen from Biomass Mixed with Legacy Coal Waste, Waste Plastic, and/or Other WasteElectric Power Research Institute, Inc. (Palo Alto, California) and partners HMI, Nexant, and Sotacarbo intend to qualify biomass with a mixture of legacy coal wastes, waste plastics, and other wastes based on performance testing of pellet recipes using HMI’s moving-bed gasifier. The testing will provide relevant data to advance the commercial-scale design of the gasifier. The project will focus on effects of the various fuels on feedstock development, resulting products, and impacts on gasifier operations. The project will use the results to specify the range of feedstock blends that can be successfully gasified, as well as quantify gasifier outputs based on specific blends.

DOE Funding: $1,128,034; Non-DOE Funding: $282,010; Total Value: $1,410,044


Hydrogen Production from High-Volume Organic Construction and Demolition Wastes University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) (Grand Forks, North Dakota), with partner Simonpietri Enterprises LLC, plans to generate clean, locally sourced hydrogen via gasification from a high-volume, negative value, highly contaminated feedstock such as organic construction and demolition (C&D) waste. The project will structure a techno-economic evaluation around a notional modular-scale, 5–50 megawatts electric-equivalent-scale plant sited in the United States where there is a potential hydrogen market near C&D landfills. This project will help close specific waste-to-fuel technical gaps by gasifying actual C&D waste in an existing EERC oxygen-blown fluid-bed gasifier while testing numerous syngas cleanup options to control the trace metals of concern and advance the prospect of using other challenging waste streams contaminated with heavy metals.

DOE Funding: $1,600,000; Non-DOE Funding: $400,000; Total Value: $2,000,000


Advancing Entrained-Flow Gasification of Waste Materials and Biomass for Hydrogen Production University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah) intends to demonstrate the technical feasibility of gasifying blends of biomass and high-volume waste materials to produce hydrogen and improve feedstock preparation and feeding to enhance gasifier performance and conversion. Various liquid mixtures of coal, biomass, and waste plastic will be prepared and gasified in a 1 ton/day pressurized oxygen-blown entrained-flow gasifier to characterize the influence of operating conditions on reactor performance, carbon conversion, and syngas quality. Special attention will be given to the biomass and plastic liquefaction processes to minimize energy input, maximize product yield, and expand the range of usable waste materials to include agricultural waste. The project team intends to develop a new flexible fuel gasifier burner based on proven hot oxygen burner technology that will allow liquid slurries and gaseous feedstocks to be fed individually or in combination. The project will measure impurities and evaluate the suitability of the syngas for hydrogen production via water-gas shift.

DOE Funding: $1,593,376; Non-DOE Funding: $398,345; Total Value: $1,991,721


Area of Interest 2B - Sensors & Controls for Co-gasification of Waste Plastics in Production of Hydrogen with Carbon Capture

Integration of LIBS with Machine Learning for Real-Time Monitoring of Waste Plastics/Biomass/Coal Wastes Feedstock in Gasification Applications Lehigh University (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) and partners Energy Research Company, the Gas Technology Institute, and SpG Consulting, LLC intend to demonstrate the feasibility of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) integrated with machine learning to measure the characteristics of feedstock streams (biomass, waste plastics, and legacy coal waste) entering gasifiers that produce hydrogen. The project will eliminate hazards associated with toxic feedstock products by measuring, in real-time and in situ, the feedstock's chemistry and higher-order parameters so that a gasifier can efficiently and economically use them while producing hydrogen. The team will test the instrument in the lab to assess its capabilities, determine its operating envelope, document its performance, and perform a techno-economic analysis of the technology for gasifier applications.

DOE Funding: $500,000; Non-DOE Funding: $125,000; Total Value: $625,000


Development of Distributed Sensors for Waste Plastics Gasification toward Clean Hydrogen Production University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), in collaboration with the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL), intends to develop distributed fiber sensors to perform real-time temperature and hydrogen concentration measurements that enable process control optimization to improve hydrogen production using plastics gasification processes. Working with INL, the project team will use the distributed fiber sensors developed in this project to perform comprehensive studies of co-gasification processes using waste plastics mixed with coal waste and biomass as feedstocks for hydrogen production. Data harnessed by these new sensors will be used to optimize gasification processes by controlling air/steam flow rates, reactor temperatures, feedstock preparation, and binary/ternary feedstock mixing to efficiently produce hydrogen while minimizing pollutant emissions.

DOE Funding: $500,000; Non-DOE Funding: $134,765; Total Value: $634,765


Area of Interest 8A-Front-End Engineering Design Studies for Carbon Capture Systems at Domestic Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) Facilities Producing H2 from Natural Gas

Carbon Capture on Air Liquide US Gulf Coast Steam Methane Reformer Using the CryocapTM FG ProcessDastur International, Inc. (Ridgewood, New Jersey), in partnership with Air Liquide and the University of Texas at Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology, plans to conduct a front-end engineering design study on the design and implementation of full-scale carbon capture at the steam menthane reforming  plant on the U.S. Gulf Coast to achieve deep reductions in CO2 emissions and enable clean hydrogen production. The team will focus on the design and economic analysis of carbon capture, including several environmental, technical, and cost assessments that outline how this carbon capture and storage project achieves the Department of Energy’s goal of producing clean hydrogen from natural gas.

DOE Funding: $5,996,304; Non-DOE Funding: $1,499,303; Total Value: $7,495,607


Combined Carbon Capture Solution on Air Liquide Northern California Steam Methane ReformerElectricore, Inc. (Santa Clarita, California) and partner Air Liquide plan to conduct a front-end engineering design study on the design and implementation of full-scale capture at the SMR plant in northern California to enable clean hydrogen production. The team will focus on the design and economic analysis of carbon capture, including several environmental, technical, and cost assessments that outline how this project achieves the Department of Energy’s capture targets and demonstrates net-zero carbon emissions.

DOE Funding: $5,996,261; Non-DOE Funding: $1,499,066; Total Value: $7,495,327