Cogeneration of power and fuel
A combined process for converting renewable organic matter into hydrogen fuel and generating electricity as a by-product, that can reach overall conversion efficiencies of around 50%.
We have developed an innovative approach for converting renewable organic matter (waste, biomass) into a biofuel (hydrogen, syngas), with the simultaneous generation of electricity. The conversion is carried out at moderate temperatures (400°C – 600°C) and at high pressure using a Super-Critical Water Gasification reaction. The heat input can be obtained from a solar concentrator field such as a trough, tower, or any other suitable heat source. Thermodynamic analysis has shown that overall heat to electricity conversion efficiencies could reach about 50%, exceeding those of known and comparable thermal conversion processes. Were the heat provided by a solar tower, the overall solar energy to electricity conversion efficiency could be close to 30%, compared to less than 20% for current leading solar technologies. We are investigating major technical challenges in implementing this process, including speeding up of the reaction by innovative high performance catalysts, as well as the separation process, both for inorganic materials upstream of the reactor and for the fuel downstream of the turbine.
Collaboration: M. Epstein (WIS)
Support: Israel Ministry of National Infrastructure