Selected Technology Projects
Co-Synthesis of Hydrogen and High-Value Carbon Products from Methane Pyrolysis
Stanford University is partnering with Susteon to design a process for catalytic pyrolysis of methane into high-value carbon nanotubes and hydrogen at a low-cost goal of $1/kg at a large commercial scale with CO2 emissions less than 3 kg CO2 per kg of H2. This project will synthesize high-performance, nano-controlled pyrolysis catalysts with structural features that enable efficient catalyst regeneration and separation of solid crystalline carbon. The carbon nanotubes can be used in a wide range of applications from batteries to carbon-fiber composites. Low-cost and nearly CO2-free hydrogen can be used to decarbonize multiple large industries such as refinery and petrochemicals, ammonia production, steel, concrete, and transportation.
Novel CO2-Binding Organic Liquids (CO2BOLs) for CO2 Capture from Syngas in Ammonia Plants
Susteon and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have recently completed initial testing of novel CO2-binding organic liquids (CO2BOLs) for CO2 capture from syngas. These CO2BOls have demonstrated a high degree of CO2 removal with a total regeneration energy below 0.7 GJ/tonne of CO2, thus enabling cost effective CO2 capture in ammonia plants. These solvents are now being tested at bench-scale to develop engineering data for scale-up. Working with a commercial end user, Susteon is leading the process integration of this novel CO2 capture technology as a drop-in replacement for activated MDEA. Susteon has an exclusive option for this technology to commercialize into the marketplace.
Conversion of CO2 into Construction Products
Susteon is partnering with The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) on “A Scalable Process for Upcycling Carbon Dioxide and Coal Combustion Residues into Construction Products”. Susteon is supporting UCLA in the development of a CO2 mineralization process that uses CO2 in flue gas and coal combustion residues to synthesize CO2NCRETE, a functional replacement for traditional concrete. This process offers the coal power sector a pioneering pathway for solid waste and CO2 utilization to produce a value-added product with a large addressable market. Using the laboratory results obtained at UCLA, Susteon has developed a design for a pilot plant for testing at the Integrated Test Center in Wyoming with a real coal combustion derived flue gas.
Conversion of CO2 and Waste Methane to Green Acetic Acid
Susteon is partnering with North Carolina State University (NCSU) on “Sustainable Conversion of Carbon Dioxide and Shale Gas to Green Acetic Acid via a Thermoc-hemical Cyclic Redox Scheme”. NCSU and Susteon are developing a comprehensive proof-of-concept through laboratory testing for sustainable and cost-effective production of acetic acid, a critical building block for the plastic industry, from CO2 and domestic shale gas. The key innovations are novel redox materials with the ability to reduce CO2 to make CO and oxidize methane into syngas (then to methanol). Methanol and CO react to form acetic acid, thus significantly reducing the carbon footprint of acetic acid production.
Development of a Bilayer MOF Architecture for CO2 Capture
Susteon is supporting Electricore and Inventys (now Svante Inc.) to develop a structured (laminate) adsorbent-based commercially scalable CO2 capture technology. This process includes a dual-adsorbent bi-layer structured adsorbent design with a thermal conductive matrix that enables a rapid temperature swing. This process is based on Svante’s rapid adsorption and desorption frequency (heating and cooling in 60 sec.) and the combination into one single mechanical embodiment for the adsorption, the desorption and the cooling steps, thereby avoiding the need for two very tall columns, multiple large heat exchangers and one reboiler as in a solvent-based process. This next generation adsorption technology has the potential to reduce the CO2 capture costs by 50% over current amine solvent-based processes.
Converting CO2 and Waste Methane into Benzene
Under a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, Susteon has developed a novel catalytic reactor design incorporating a unique microporous alumina membrane for dehydroaromatization (DHA) of methane into benzene with selective permeation of H2 and subsequent reaction of this permeated H2 with CO2 to form methane, resulting into a highly intensified process scheme for benzene production. This enables efficient conversion of CO2 into a high value chemical–benzene. Benzene production in the novel membrane reactor was demonstrated at the North Carolina State University laboratories, showing the ability for intensified benzene production from methane with simultaneous H2 extraction. Process models and techno-economic analyses developed by Susteon show the potential of the technology to utilize nearly 250,000 tonne per year of CO2, equivalent to eliminating over 58,000 passenger vehicles off the road in the U.S. Susteon is now working on the commercial deployment of this process technology.
Novel Membrane System for Production of Hydrogen
Membrane Technology and Research, Inc (MTR), a world leader in the development and production of membrane-based separation systems for the petrochemical, natural gas, syngas, and refining industry under a cooperative agreement with the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL) is developing next generation of Proteus™ membranes for hydrogen separation from syngas. The improvements in hydrogen selectivity and thermal stability of these next generation Proteus™ membranes demonstrated at lab-scale are enabling radically new process integration of this technology to cost-effectively separate H2 and capture CO2 from various syngas streams. MTR is partnering with Susteon in this project to leverage Susteon’s extensive expertise in the syngas domain to optimize integration of MTR’s membrane technologies and identify niche applications of these membranes in syngas industry.
High-Throughput Methane Pyrolysis for Low-Cost, Emissions-Free Hydrogen
Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and Susteon will develop a new, high-throughput reactor technology for hydrogen (H2) production. The team will demonstrate the use of a molten-metal mist reactor to convert natural gas into hydrogen and solid carbon at a low cost without carbon dioxide emissions. The technology could replace current hydrogen production methods, while simultaneously sequestering carbon in high value materials and placing the United States at the forefront of the hydrogen production industry.
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