Method For Zero Emission Liquid Hydrogen Production From Methane Sources and Landfill Gas

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shows a concept of the cryogenic LH2 production process of the present invention
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Researchers
Cunping Huang, Ph.D.
Nazim Muradov, Ph.D.
Ali Raissi, Ph.D.
Managed By
Raju Nagaiah
Licensing Associate 407.882.0593
Patent Protection

Method for zero emission liquid hydrogen production from methane and landfill gas

US Patent 7,332,146 B1

Processes, methods, systems and devices for zero emission liquid hydrogen production directly from a variety of methane sources (landfills, natural gas, etc.)

Every day the demand for oil increases while the supply and availability of the resource continues to plummet, ever increasing our need to develop and utilize alternative fuels. One such alternative, hydrogen, is predicted to be the solution to our fossil fuel addictions, yet it still requires a more efficient production process before it can be embraced by the general public. As a high energy storage material, liquid hydrogen has found its application aerospace and potentially for on-board hydrogen driven vehicles. Current liquid hydrogen production consists of three steps: (1) Gaseous hydrogen production. (2) Separating hydrogen from a gaseous mixture containing CH4, CO, CO2 and H2 O. (3) Liquefying gaseous hydrogen. During the second step, hydrogen purification is carried out via absorption columns in which only 85% of the hydrogen is captured and liquefied. The remaining 15%, together with CO and methane are then burned producing CO2 and water. This process has low process efficiency (60% to 70%), low hydrogen recovery (85%) and a high CO2 to H2 ratio (11.8kg of CO2 produced per 1kg of H2).

Technical Details

University of Central Florida scientists have designed a number of plant schematics in which more efficient liquid hydrogen production can be carried out using variable sources of natural gases as well as landfill gas. All of the processes described within the single step processes produce highly purified liquid H2 with efficiency greater than 85% and 100% of H2 recovery. Instead of producing CO2 gas, the novel processes produce purer CO2, which can then be utilized in other industrial applications and no greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike conventional process, low concentration CO and CH4 in gaseous mixture are cycled for the production of more liquid H2 without burring.

Benefits

  • A single step liquid H2 production process is more than 85% efficient while approximately 100% of the H2 recovery efficiency
  • This environmentally friendly zero emissions process captures greenhouse gas, CO2, in liquid form and that can be applicable for industrial applications
  • The current liquid hydrogen industrial markets already exceed $1 billion per year in sales and amount is still climbing

Applications

  • Liquid hydrogen production
  • Aerospace industry
  • Energy storage for hydrogen fuel cell cars