Accession Number DE2012-1053514
Title Novel Slurry-Based Biomass Reforming Process. Final Technical Report.
Publication Date Sep 2011
Media Count 65p
Personal Author A. Peles J. Sheffel R. R. Willigan S. C. Emerson T. Zhu T. D. Davis T. H. Vanderspurt Y. She
Abstract This project was focused on developing a catalytic means of producing H2 from raw, ground biomass, such as fast growing poplar trees, willow trees, or switch grass. The use of a renewable, biomass feedstock with minimal processing can enable a carbon neutral means of producing H2 in that the carbon dioxide produced from the process can be used in the environment to produce additional biomass. For economically viable production of H2, the biomass is hydrolyzed and then reformed without any additional purification steps. Any unreacted biomass and other byproduct streams are burned to provide process energy. Thus, the development of a catalyst that can operate in the demanding corrosive environment and presence of potential poisons is vital to this approach. The concept for this project is shown in Figure 1. The initial feed is assumed to be a >5 wt% slurry of ground wood in dilute base, such as potassium carbonate (K2CO3). Base hydrolysis and reforming of the wood is carried out at high but sub-critical pressures and temperatures in the presence of a solid catalyst. A Pd alloy membrane allows the continuous removal of pure , while the retentate, including methane is used as fuel in the plant. The project showed that it is possible to economically produce H2 from woody biomass in a carbon neutral manner. Technoeconomic analyses using HYSYS and the DOE's H2A tool were used to design a 2000 ton day-1 (dry basis) biomass to hydrogen plant with an efficiency of 46% to 56%, depending on the mode of operation and economic assumptions, exceeding the DOE 2012 target of 43%. The cost of producing the hydrogen from such a plant would be in the range of $1/kg H2 to $2/kg H2. By using raw biomass as a feedstock, the cost of producing hydrogen at large biomass consumption rates is more cost effective than steam reforming of hydrocarbons or biomass gasification and can achieve the overall cost goals of the DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Program. The complete conversion of wood to hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide was repeatedly demonstrated in batch reactors varying in size from 50 mL to 7.6 L.
Keywords Aqueous phases
Carbon dioxide
Hydrogen production
Liquid phase reforming
Wood products

Source Agency Technical Information Center Oak Ridge Tennessee
NTIS Subject Category 97K - Fuels
97F - Fuel Conversion Processes
99B - Industrial Chemistry & Chemical Process Engineering
Corporate Author United Technologies Research Center, East Hartford, CT.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1308
Contract Number DE-FG36-05GO15042

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