HIGH-TEMPERATURE CO-ELECTROLYSIS OF H2O AND CO2 FOR SYNGAS PRODUCTION

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Worldwide, the demand for light hydrocarbon fuels like gasoline and diesel oil is increasing. To satisfy this demand, oil companies have begun to utilize oil deposits of lower hydrogen content (an example is the Athabasca Oil Sands). Additionally, the higher contents of sulfur and nitrogen of these resources requires processes such as hydrotreating to meet environmental requirements. In the mean time, with the price of oil currently over $50 / barrel, synthetically-derived hydrocarbon fuels (synfuels) have become economical. Synfuels are typically produced from syngas – hydrogen (H2) and carbon monoxide (CO) -- using the Fischer-Tropsch process, discovered by Germany before ... continued below

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Stoots, C.M. November 1, 2006.

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Worldwide, the demand for light hydrocarbon fuels like gasoline and diesel oil is increasing. To satisfy this demand, oil companies have begun to utilize oil deposits of lower hydrogen content (an example is the Athabasca Oil Sands). Additionally, the higher contents of sulfur and nitrogen of these resources requires processes such as hydrotreating to meet environmental requirements. In the mean time, with the price of oil currently over $50 / barrel, synthetically-derived hydrocarbon fuels (synfuels) have become economical. Synfuels are typically produced from syngas – hydrogen (H2) and carbon monoxide (CO) -- using the Fischer-Tropsch process, discovered by Germany before World War II. South Africa has used synfuels to power a significant number of their buses, trucks, and taxicabs. The Idaho National Laboratory (INL), in conjunction with Ceramatec Inc. (Salt Lake City, USA) has been researching for several years the use of solid-oxide fuel cell technology to electrolyze steam for large-scale nuclear-powered hydrogen production. Now, an experimental research project is underway at the INL to investigate the feasibility of producing syngas by simultaneously electrolyzing at high-temperature steam and carbon dioxide (CO2) using solid oxide fuel cell technology. The syngas can then be used for synthetic fuel production. This program is a combination of experimental and computational activities. Since the solid oxide electrolyte material is a conductor of oxygen ions, CO can be produced by electrolyzing CO2 sequestered from some greenhouse gas-emitting process. Under certain conditions, however, CO can further electrolyze to produce carbon, which can then deposit on cell surfaces and reduce cell performance. The understanding of the co-electrolysis of steam and CO2 is also complicated by the competing water-gas shift reaction. Results of experiments and calculations to date of CO2 and CO2/H2O electrolysis will be presented and discussed. These will include electrolysis performance at various temperatures, gas mixtures, and electrical settings. Product gas compositions, as measured via a gas analyser, and their relationship to conversion efficiencies will be presented. These measurements will be compared to predictions obtained from chemical equilibrium computer codes. Better understanding of the feasibility of producing syngas using high-temperature electrolysis will initiate the systematic investigation of nuclear-powered synfuel production as a bridge to the future hydrogen economy and ultimate independence from foreign energy resources.

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  • 2006 Fuel Cell Seminar,Hawaii, USA,11/13/2006,11/17/2006

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-06-11719
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 911873
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc889169

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  • November 1, 2006

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 5:26 p.m.

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Stoots, C.M. HIGH-TEMPERATURE CO-ELECTROLYSIS OF H2O AND CO2 FOR SYNGAS PRODUCTION, article, November 1, 2006; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc889169/: accessed December 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.