ELECTROCHEMICAL NATURAL GAS CONVERSION TO MORE VALUABLE SPECIES

Period of Performance: 01/01/1990 - 12/31/1990

$500K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Eltron Research, Inc.
4600 Nautilus Court South
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator

Abstract

THIS PROGRAM IS DIRECTED TOWARD DEVELOPING THE SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL INSIGHT NEEDED TO EVALUATE A SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELL COMPATIBLE WITH PROMOTING, AT A BIFUNCTIONAL ANODE, THEOXIDATIVE DIMERIZATION OF METHANE TO ETHYLENE. FOR ETHYLENEAS AN ANODIC REACTION PRODUCT, THE OVER-ALL ELECTROCHEMICAL REACTION WILL BE SPONTANEOUS, RESULTING IN THE SIMULTANEOUS GENERATION OF ELECTRICAL ENERGY. THIS WORK WILL STUDY CELLSWITH THE FOLLOWING GENERAL CONGIGURATION: CH4,MO/LA1-XSRXMNO3/PT/ZRO2(8(W)/0Y2O3)/ LA0.89SR.11MNO3/PT,O2(AIR) WHERE MO WILL INCLUDE SM2O AND DY2O3. THE BIFUNCTIONAL ELECTROCATALYST USED AT THE ANODE WILL COMPRISE A PEROVSKITE (LA1-XSRXMNO2) ELECTRO-CHEMICAL O(2-) OXIDATION SITE, LOCATED CLOSE TO THE MO SPECIES. AT THE FUEL CELL OPERATING TEMPERATURE, THIS SHOULD PROVIDE A SIGNIFICANT POPULATION OF O(-) SITES WITHIN THE ANODE MATRIX. INTERACTION OF THESE OXIDIZED SITES IN THE ANODE MATRIX WITH CH4 SHOULD PROMOTE SIMULTANEOUS METHANE OXIDATIVE DIMERIZATION, LEADING TO ETHYLENE AND OTHER C2 HYDROCARBON SPECIES. AT THE SOLID ELECTROLYTE/ANODE INTERFACE, THE PEROVSKITE LA1-XSRXMNO3 WILL PREDOMINATE; AT THE CH4/ANODE INTERFACE, THE METAL OXIDE MO WILL DOMINATE. THIS WILL PROMOTE A PROGRESSIVE TRANSITION BETWEEN O(2-) AND O(-) SPECIES AT THE MO/LA1-XSRXMNO3 INTERFACE, WITH THE O(-) SPECIES IMPLICATED IN THE SUBJECT REACTION LEADING TO ETHYLENE AND DC ELECTRICITY.