Development of Novel Technologies for the Production and Storage of Hydrogen from Coal Using C1 Chemistry

  • Huffman, Gerald (PI)
  • Huggins, Frank (CoI)
  • Shah, Naresh (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details

Description

ABSTRACT OF PROJECT In the space below include a public abstract of not more than one (1) single spaced typewritten page clearly stating the objectives of the proposed research, the title of the project, methodology, and sponsoring organization(s). This self-contained document should be suitable for publication and identify objectives of the project, methods to be employed, and the potential impact of the project (i.e., benefits, out comes). It should be informative to other persons working in the same or related fields and, insofar as possible, understandable to a lay reader. This document must not include any proprietary or sensitive business information as the Department may make it available to the public. Development of Novel Technologies for the Production and Storage of Hydrogen from Coal Submitted by the Consortium for Fossil Fuel Science (CFFS) in response to U.S. Department of Energy solicitation No. DE-PS26-04NT42249-3F Area of interest 3 - Coal Fuels and Hydrogen; Subtopic 3F - Advanced Fuels Research Technical Contact: Dr. Gerald P. Huffman, Director, CFFS, University of Kentucky, 107 Whalen Building, 533 S. Limestone St., Lexington, KY 40506-0043 Phone: (859) 257-4027; FAX: (859) 257-7215; E-mail: huffman@engr.uky.edu The Consortium for Fossil Fuel Science (CFFS) is a multi-university research consortium with participants from the Universities of Kentucky, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Utah, and Auburn. The proposed three-year research program is focused on: (1) developing novel processes for the production of hydrogen using C1 chemistry; (2) developing novel hydrogen storage materials; and (3) synthesis and dehydrogenation of hydrogen-rich carrier liquids. The feedstocks include synthesis gas derived from coal, gaseous and liquid hydrocarbons produced from coal-derived syngas, coalbed methane, and natural gas. The research will involve the efforts of 16 faculty members and approximately a dozen postdoctoral students, 15 graduate students, and 10 undergraduate students. It is divided into three main categories. I. Production of hydrogen: Catalytic dehydrogenation of hydrocarbons is a one-step method of producing pure hydrogen. Research on this topic will emphasize development of a continuous reactor for the dehydrogenation of light alkanes to produce hydrogen and carbon nanotubes. Catalytic dehydrogenation of Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) liquids will be investigated with the goal of developing a simpler method of producing hydrogen for fuel cell-based auxiliary power units (APU) or other vehicular applications. Several projects will address the water-gas shift (WGS), a critical reaction for production of hydrogen from coal-derived syngas. One approach will use a novel aqueous reaction sequence using potassium carbonate and formate that is equivalent to the WGS and could yield >98% hydrogen at relatively low temperatures. Other WGS projects will employ conventional reaction conditions but use novel catalysts; these will include several metals (Cu, Au, etc.) supported on ceria aerogels and Fe-based spinels containing various secondary elements (Cr, Co, etc.) to control active site population. Several projects will explore novel approaches for reforming methanol and ethylene glycol, which are widely available liquids that can be produced from coal, to produce hydrogen at low temperatures. Two very novel approaches will employ supercritical fluids and electrolysis. Supercritical water will act as both a reformant and a solvent to produce hydrogen from methanol, methane, and other sources. Electrochemical production of hydrogen will be investigated using slurries of fine coal or other forms of carbon, which can supply electrons for electrolysis at low potentials. II. Hydrogen storage: Three research tasks will focus on hydrogen storage in several novel solid materials: (i) chemical hydrides doped with Ti or other metal catalysts; (ii) silica nano-bubbles produced under supercritical fluid conditions; and (Hi) stacked-cone carbon nanotubes subjected to acid intercalation and thermal expansion. Catalytic dehydrogenation and re-hydrogenation of F-T fuels, which are promising liquid hydrogen carriers, will be explored under both normal and supercritical conditions. III. Advanced characterization: An array of analytical techniques will be used to determine the molecular structure and microstructure of catalysts and reaction products developed in this program. The primary objectives of the program are: 1. Develop novel approaches to produce hydrogen from coal with "breakthrough technology" potential. 2. Develop new materials with potential to solve the very difficult problem of hydrogen storage. 3. Explore catalytic dehydrogenation of hydrogen-rich carrier liquids as an alternative to reforming. Page 4 of4
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date6/2/0512/31/12

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