BIOLOGICAL PRODUCTION OF HYDROGEN

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

$500K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Engineering Resources, Inc.
P.o. Box 3682, Biomass, Research Center Hwy112
Fayetteville, AR 72702
Principal Investigator

Abstract

COAL CONTAINS APPROXIMATELY EQUAL MOLAR AMOUNTS OF HYDROGEN AND CARBON; SYNTHESIS OF LIQUID FUELS OR METHANE REQUIRES AT LEAST TWICE AS MUCH ADDITIONAL HYDROGEN. THE REMOVAL OF LARGE QUANTITIES OF HETERO-ATOM COMPONENTS FROM TAR SANDS OILS AND SHALE OILS REQUIRES LARGE AMOUNTS OF HYDROGEN. HYDROGEN PRODUCED CATALYTICALLY BY THE WATER GAS SHIFT REACTION IS EXPENSIVE, SERIOUSLY OBSTRUCTING THE APPLICATIONOF ALTERNATIVE FUELS TECHNOLOGY. THIS PROJECT INVOLVES A UNIQUE BIOLOGICAL SYSTEM TO CARRY OUT THE WATER GAS SHIFT AT ORDINARY TEMPERATURES AND PRESSURE WITH STOICHIOMETRIC YIELDS AND HIGH ENERGY EFFICIENCY. BIOLOGICAL SHIFT CONVERSION OFFERS THE POTENTIAL FOR A SIMPLE AND ECONOMICAL MEANS OF PRODUCING HYDROGEN. PHASE I WILL DEFINE THE OPTIMAL CONDITIONS FOR PERFORMANCE OF THE ANAEROBIC BACTERIAR. RUBRUM IN PRODUCING H2 FROM CO AND H2O. INTRINSIC KINETIC PARAMETERS WILL BE DETERMINED, AND CONTINUOUS REACTOR STUDIES WILL BE CONDUCTED TO DEFINE MINIMUM RETENTION TIMES AND REACTOR VOLUMES. MODELS FOR CONVERSION AND MASS TRANSFER WILL BE PREPARED. ECONOMIC PROJECTIONS FOR LARGE SCALE HYDROGEN PRODUCTION WILL THEN BE MADE TO ASSESS FEASIBILITY.