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Hydrogen production by sorption enhanced reactions


    A soft chemical route has been developed to synthesize nanocrystllite solid mixed oxides as high temperature CO2 acceptors, such as Li2ZrO3, Na2ZrO3 and CaO based mixed oxides.  The main objective is to gain better kinetics, selectivity and stability in the presence of steam. Research focus has been on the principles for rational design of the nanomateraisl in terms of backbone structure, crystal size of active materials and morphology of the particles.

    Research is focusing on hydrotalcite derived transition metal catalysts, such as Ni, Ni-Co catalysts. Detailed kinetic study and characterization such as 3D electron tomography are used to investigate the structures and properties on metal clusters in the support matrix.  The objective is to improve the activity of metal cluster towards C-C and C-H bond activation and thermal stability.



    Sorption enhanced steam reforming (SESR) has been studied fro enhanced hydrogen production form methane, hydrocarbons and biomass derived oxygenates such as ethanol, glycerol, sorbitol, glucose, crude glycerol and synthesis gas form biomass gasification. The catalysts and CO2 acceptors are installed together in the twin fixed bed reactors, one for SESR and one for regeneration of CO2 acceptors. The in-situ removal of CO2 shifts equilibrium towards hydrogen production. Very high purity of hydrogen (>99%) can be produced by SESR reactions. The research is aiming to develop a complete tool box for conversion of biomass derived diverse mono or multifunctional oxygenates including bio-oil to hydrogen with high energy efficiency.


    High purity hydrogen can be produced by sorption enhanced catalytic gasification of wood biomass powders. The presence of catalysts enhances the conversion of tars formed by biomass pyrolysis. The in-situ removal of CO2 enhances further the tar conversion and steam reforming of oxygenates and hydrocarbons to hydrogen. The research goal is to formulate the CO2 acceptors, catalysts and operating conditions to reach a high energy efficiency and high hydrogen yield as we as purity.


    Understanding of reaction mechanism and kinetic modeling of carbonation reactions of basic oxides is one of the research topics. Detailed kinetic study is performed in terms of CO2 concentration, temperature and steam concentration. The reactor modeling and simulation of SESR in fixed bed and fluidized bed reactors are cooperated with reactor group at NTNU.


Thermodynamic analysis is performed to predict the maximum hydrogen purity and yield in SESR of different molecules. The SESR are integrated into the process by taking into account the integration of carbonation and decarbonation reactions, the heat integration in the process design. The hydrogen yield and energy efficiency are evaluated for the different design. Economic evaluation is also performed for selected processes.