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U.S. Department of Energy Selects 4 Projects to Receive $2 Million to Develop Hydrogen Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has selected four projects to receive $2 million in Federal funding for cost-shared research and development under funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002376, Enabling Gasification of Blended Coal, Biomass and Plastic Wastes to Produce Hydrogen with Potential for Net Negative Carbon Dioxide Emissions.

This FOA focuses on the advancement of net-negative carbon emitting technologies that aim to produce hydrogen or other high-value fuels, whether as the sole product or as a co-product. Developing co-gasification technologies is a way to introduce net-negative carbon technologies that can help alleviate concerns about potential feedstock availability and other operational issues.

The four projects selected are described below:

Fluidized-Bed Gasification of Coal-Biomass-Plastics for Hydrogen Production Auburn University (Auburn, AL) plans to study the gasification performance of select feedstock mixtures in a laboratory-scale fluidized-bed gasifier. Specific objectives are to (1) study coal-plastic-biomass mixture flowability for consistent feeding in the gasifier; (2) understand gasification behavior of the mixtures in steam and oxygen environments; (3) characterize thermal properties of ash/slag from the mixture feedstock and investigate the interaction between slag/ash and refractory materials; and (4) develop process models to determine the technology needed for cleaning up syngas and removing contaminants for hydrogen production.

Funding: DOE: $499,485; Non-DOE: $126,971; Total: $626,456

Performance Testing of a Moving-Bed Gasifier Using Coal, Biomass, and Waste Plastic Blends to Generate White Hydrogen — Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (Palo Alto, CA) plans to qualify coal, biomass, and plastic waste blends based on performance testing of selected pellet recipes in a 12’’ laboratory-scale updraft moving-bed gasifier. The testing will provide relevant data to advance the commercial-scale design of the moving-bed gasifier to use these feedstocks to produce hydrogen. The effects of waste plastics on feedstock development and the resulting products will be a focus of the research. The research team will review data, determine figures of merit, and interpret results to specify the range of feedstock blends that can be successfully gasified, as well as quantify gasifier outputs based on specific blends.

Funding: DOE: $500,000; Non-DOE: $125,000; Total: $ $625,000

Development and Characterization of Densified Biomass-Plastic Blend for Entrained Flow Gasification — University of Kentucky Research Foundation (Lexington, KY) plans to develop and study a coal/biomass/plastic blend fuel by (1) producing hydrophobic layer encapsulated biomass suitable for slurry with solid content with greater than 60 wt% of blended coal/biomass and plastic suitable for oxygen-blown entrained flow gasification with slurry feed; (2) conducting lab-scale kinetic and gasification studies on the feedstock blend; and (3) demonstrating practical operations in a commercially relevant 1 ton/day entrained flow gasifier.

Funding: DOE: $500,000; Non-DOE: $125,559; Total: $625,559

Enabling Entrained-Flow Gasification of Blends of Coal, Biomass and Plastics — University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT) plans to leverage a high-pressure, slurry-fed, oxygen-blown entrained-flow system to enable co-gasification of biomass and waste plastic by creating slurries of coal, biomass pyrolysis liquids, and liquefied plastic oil. Gasification performance of the most promising mixtures will be evaluated in the University of Utah’s 1 ton/day pressurized oxygen-blown gasifier fitted with a custom-built hot oxygen burner.

Funding: DOE: $500,000; Non-DOE: $291,157; Total: $791,157

The Office of Fossil Energy funds research and development projects to advance fossil energy technologies and further the sustainable use of the Nation’s fossil resources. To learn more about the programs within the Office of Fossil Energy, visit the Office of Fossil Energy website or sign up for FE news announcements. More information about the National Energy Technology Laboratory is available on the NETL website.