SBIR Phase II: Catalyst for Biomass Gasification Processes

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009

$508K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nextech Materials, Ltd.
404 Enterprise Drive Array
Lewis Center, OH 43035
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project focuses on improving efficiency and reducing cost associated with the production of energy, liquid fuels, and value-added chemicals from gasified biomass. Unlike most other sources of biofuels, gasification would not directly compete with food sources since virtually any organic matter can be used as the feedstock. Examples of feedstocks include agricultural residue, wood chips, and municipal waste. However, biomass gasification is currently a capital intensive process because of the difficulty with producing a clean syngas (free of tars and pollutants) for use in downstream turbines or chemical production steps. Tar removal is necessary to protect down-stream equipment in the process. Within this project, NexTech will develop and commercialize a novel catalytic monolith capable of reforming tars into a useful product, syngas, improving system efficiency. This will be done by first optimizing the processing steps required to produce the monolith, then verifying the monolith performance in independent testing. The end product will provide gasifier users with a simpler and less expensive method for tar removal than currently used approaches. The production of energy and liquid fuels from biomass will have a number of beneficial societal impacts. The gasification