UNIQUE gasifier for hydrogen Production
The project aims to develop a biomass steam gasification process coupled to syngas purification to produce pure hydrogen from biomass, increase well-to-tank efficiency and contribute to a sustainable energy portfolio. The results obtained in past R&D EU projects on hot gas catalytic conditioning will be exploited, utilizing plant components of proven performance and reliability and well established processes as UNIQUE coupled gasification and hot gas cleaning and conditioning system, Water-Gas Shift system and Pressure Swing Adsorption system.
Achievements to date
Website has been created for the dissemination of the project results and for providing a common platform to the partners. The olivine behavior has been evaluated and the different biomass feedstock have been characterized. Reference results have been achieved testing at bench scale the non catalytic filter candles. The tests on the catalytic filter candles are going on.
The UNIQUE compact gasifier technology, together with the advanced filters, the new catalytic materials for WGS implementation and the PSA system, will have a noticeable impact to the production of high purity syngas, suitable for PEM fuel cells, thus impacting in all FCH programs. The high subsystems integration will demonstrate the feasibility of low cost systems, also below 5€/kg of H2. The project also contributes to creating a critical mass of resources and integrating the research efforts at European scale.
Through development and scale up activities on materials and reactors for the integration of advanced biomass steam gasification and syngas purification processes, UNIfHY aims to obtain continuous pure hydrogen production from biomass, increase well-to-tank efficiency and contribute to a sustainable energy portfolio, exploiting results achieved in past R&D EU projects on hot gas catalytic conditioning. The project is based on the utilization of plant components of proven performance and reliability and well established processes (UNIQUE coupled gasification and gas conditioning technology, Water-Gas Shift, WGS, system and Pressure Swing Adsorption, PSA, system), thus targeting up to 20 years plant durability with availability>95%. The project benefits from the already existing laboratories and UNIQUE gasifiers in order to maximize results (technology development at process-, system- and industrial-scale) with minimum risk and budget requirement (laboratories, pilot and industrial gasifier already available). New materials for atmospheric pressure WGS are realized and utilized to develop reactors, integrated with a tailored PSA in a portable purification unit, connected downstream small-to-medium scale (up to 1 MWth) UNIQUE gasifiers in order to yield pure hydrogen. The result will be two UNIfHY prototype units for continuous production of hydrogen (up to 500 kg/day). Thanks to the high level of thermal integration and to the reuse of purge gas in the process, conversion efficiency in hydrogen higher than 70% is expected. Finally, the gas conditioning system cost becomes 30% as that of a standard free-standing conditioning system, due to remarkable plant integration: reforming of both tar and methane and particulates abatement is carried out directly in the freeboard of the biomass gasifier, providing investment cost savings greater than 50%, a
simplified plant layout with reduction of space and components up to 50% and a hydrogen production cost not exceeding 5€/kg.