Last week, Department of Energy announced the selection of Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) projects. Susteon was selected to develop a modular oxygen production system utilizing a novel rapid-cycle pressure swing adsorption (RPSA).
Current air separation technologies for small-scale O2 production are inhibiting deployment of small modular energy systems due to excessive capital and operating costs. Susteon’s proposed RPSA system — based on novel structural adsorbents which selectively adsorb N2 from air — has a potential to achieve oxygen production costs of less than $50/ton of oxygen enabling modular energy systems as well as applications in a number of other industries. Under this SBIR Phase I grant, Susteon, working with its research institute partner, Georgia Tech, will synthesize and screen a number of fibrous adsorbent structures. Adsorbents structures which exhibit superior performance will be tested in a lab-scale RPSA unit to measure their breakthrough and O2 separation performance to obtain necessary engineering design data. These results will enable a preliminary engineering design and a techno-economic analysis for a prototype pilot system to be designed, built, and tested in Phase 2. Successful demonstration at 50 kg/day scale will pave the way for the design and deployment of a 10-50 ton/day commercial modular system in collaboration with our industrial partner, Linde.