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DOE Selects WRI’s Innovative Hydrogen-from-Coal Separation Process

The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Western Research Institute (WRI) and its commercial partners, Chart Energy and Chemicals of La Crosse, Wis., and Synkera Technologies of Longmont, Colo., $1.4 million for a 15-month effort to scale up a device to produce hydrogen from gasified coal. The process also simplifies separation of carbon dioxide (CO2) to lower the cost for carbon sequestration from coal power plants.

The process uses palladium-based composite membranes to separate hydrogen from coal-derived syngas streams.

Under a previous project co-funded by the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Center and the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources, WRI developed and tested the prototype that will be scaled up under the newly funded work.

Until now, the development of advanced hydrogen membrane separation technology has been conducted primarily at the laboratory scale.

“The University of Wyoming's School of Energy Resources and state of Wyoming funding got us started on this path and we look forward to their continued support of WRI's hydrogen program,” said Vijay Sethi, WRI senior vice president in charge of energy production and generation.

Under the DOE program announced July 27, this and three other projects will move to the next level, which is to conduct testing using actual coal-derived synthesis gas. This is expected to lead to further scale-up and demonstrations.  The eventual goal of the DOE program is the design and fabrication of commercial-scale processes for incorporation into advanced power plants.

Mark Northam, director of the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources, said "WRI's advanced hydrogen separation process is important in leading to a deployable solution for lower carbon emissions from coal utilization. This DOE grant is strong confirmation of its potential and provides evidence that Wyoming's investment through the Clean Coal Technology Fund is working.”

Gasification testing will be conducted in WRI’s gasifier in Laramie.

Click HERE to read the Department of Energy’s news release.

DOE Selects WRI’s Innovative Hydrogen-from-Coal Separation Process

The 10-ton/day Emery Energy gasifier under construction at WRI was the subject of a tour July 25 by attendees of the International Advanced Coal Technologies Conference held in Laramie. WRI Lead Engineer Tom Barton, who gave the briefing, will serve as principal investigator in the DOE-sponsored hydrogen separation project.



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