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CLIMIT-Forskning, utvikling og demo av CO2-håndtering

IPN2022_RotoReformer. Compact, rotating reformer converting natural gas and water to hydrogen and liquid CO2

Alternative title: IPN2022_RotoReformer.

Awarded: NOK 5.8 mill.

The new RotoReformer, converting natural gas and water to hydrogen and liquid CO2. The combination of Hydrogen production and CO2 capture might be an important climate solution. Development of cost effective solutions is essential to achieve this. This project is developing a new kind of reformer that is rotating, utilizing the centrifugal forces to speed up the process and to compactify the device, and which is adapted to serial production. The RotoReformer has an included heat pump cycle, which adds the needed heat to the process, and that also cools down the produced gasses where the CO2 “rains” out from the mixture of hydrogen and CO2 in the “High-G” (high gravitational force) field inside the rotor. The project will construct prototypes and analyze the results from these prototypes, in order to understand the working principles and to learn how to improve the performance in the future upscaled versions of the device. The most important topics are the rotating catalytic reactors, and the effects of High-G on the residence time and overall performance. This project and this technology is the result of over a decade of R&D work in companies close to Hyper Energy in High-G technology, ranging from compressors, Heat Pumps and elektrolysers, producing hydrogen (and oxygen) from water with the use of electricity. This latter technology was named the RotoLyzer and was sold to NEL ASA. In the transit to a renewable future, cleaning up the fossil energy by permanently store CO2 is considered the most important task, and is especially appealing to gas-exporting countries like Norway. With available RotoReformer products in the marked, the lifespan of Natural Gas exploitation can be extended without negative effects on the environment. In addition, by using biogas as the feed, this technology has the potential to remove carbon from the atmosphere and thereby reverse the damage already done to the environment from fossil fuel consumption in the previous centuries.

This project is a continuation of projects 217723, 226001, 235809 and 285544 financed by Oslofjordfondet. The patented technology behind the RotoReformer is a new method of Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) and Water Gas Shift (WGS) which includes a heat pump/heat recovery system that extracts heat from the produced gasses (H2 and CO2) and feeds the heat energy into the endothermic SMR process. The complete process (CH4+H2O -> CO2+H2), including capture of liquid CO2, occurs inside a single rotating device. Methane (liquid (LNG) or gaseous) and water is led into the rotor. These streams are led out ("down") towards the periphery while they are heated, evaporated and compressed (by their own masses in the High-G-environment). There will be excess water as an heat/energy carrier to reduce the temperature spans in the processes. The gasses are mixed and enters the catalytic SMR reactor at the periphery splitting the methane and part of the water to CO and Hydrogen. This gas mixture flows further "up" towards the center of the rotor and enters the WGS reactor where the CO and water combines to CO2 and more Hydrogen. This mix of Hydrogen, CO2 and water is then further led towards the rotational axis and cooled against the cold section of the heat pump, where first water then CO2 is condensed out to liquid state and separated from the flow. The water is returned and mixed with the feed water flow and the liquid CO2 and the hydrogen gas exits the rotor in two separate channels.

Funding scheme:

CLIMIT-Forskning, utvikling og demo av CO2-håndtering