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Title: Extension-Upgrading Methane Using Ultra-Fast Thermal Swing Adsorption

Abstract

The purpose of this project is to develop a cost effective technology for upgrading coal mine methane to natural gas pipeline quality. Nitrogen rejection is the most costly step with conventional technology and emerging competitive technology. Significant cost reductions to this step will allow for the cost effective capture and utilization of this otherwise potent greenhouse gas. The proposed approach is based on the microchannel technology platform that Velocys is developing to commercialize compact and cost efficient chemical processing technology. For this application, ultra fast thermal swing adsorption is enabled by the very high rates of heat transfer enabled by microchannels. Natural gas upgrading systems have six main unit operations: feed compressor, dehydration unit, nitrogen rejection unit, deoxygenator, carbon dioxide scrubber, and a sales compressor. The NRU is the focus of the development program, and a bench-scale demonstration has been initiated. The Velocys NRU system targets producing methane with greater than 96% purity and at least 90% recovery for final commercial operation. A preliminary cost analysis of the methane upgrading system, including the Velocys NRU, suggests that costs below $2.00 per million (MM) BTU methane may be achieved. The cost for a conventional methane upgrading system is well above $2.30more » per MM BTU, as benchmarked in an Environmental Protection Agency study. Initial performance results for the Velocys TSA technology were promising. Velocys has also completed initial discussions with several prospective users of the technology and received positive market feedback. Some of the factors that create an attractive opportunity for the technology include the sustained high prices for natural gas, the emerging system of carbon credits, and continued focus on reducing coal mine emissions. While market interest has been confirmed, improvements and optimization are necessary to move the technology to a point that will enable commercial investment in the technology scale-up. In particular, prospective industry collaborators are interested in seeing validation that the technology can meet real-world conditions, including handling impurities, meeting purity and recovery targets (which requires low dead volume), and meeting cost and manufacturability goals. In this quarter, the system adsorbent has been selected--a granular mesoporous carbon. An overall change to the system to move to a phase change fluid for heating and cooling has been projected to significantly reduce the thermal lag of adsorption and desorption unit. Modeling work using the properties of powder carbon has shown that the overall system performance can be achieved, thus negating the need for structured adsorbents. A revised testing protocol for powder adsorbents has been initiated.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Velocys
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
883125
DOE Contract Number:  
FC26-03NT41905
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
03 NATURAL GAS; 01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; ADSORBENTS; ADSORPTION; CARBON; CARBON DIOXIDE; COAL MINES; DEHYDRATION; DESORPTION; GREENHOUSE GASES; HEAT TRANSFER; HEATING; IMPURITIES; METHANE; NATURAL GAS; NITROGEN; OPTIMIZATION; PIPELINES; TARGETS; US EPA; VALIDATION

Citation Formats

Tonkovich, Anna Lee. Extension-Upgrading Methane Using Ultra-Fast Thermal Swing Adsorption. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/883125.
Tonkovich, Anna Lee. Extension-Upgrading Methane Using Ultra-Fast Thermal Swing Adsorption. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/883125
Tonkovich, Anna Lee. Sat . "Extension-Upgrading Methane Using Ultra-Fast Thermal Swing Adsorption". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/883125. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/883125.
@article{osti_883125,
title = {Extension-Upgrading Methane Using Ultra-Fast Thermal Swing Adsorption},
author = {Tonkovich, Anna Lee},
abstractNote = {The purpose of this project is to develop a cost effective technology for upgrading coal mine methane to natural gas pipeline quality. Nitrogen rejection is the most costly step with conventional technology and emerging competitive technology. Significant cost reductions to this step will allow for the cost effective capture and utilization of this otherwise potent greenhouse gas. The proposed approach is based on the microchannel technology platform that Velocys is developing to commercialize compact and cost efficient chemical processing technology. For this application, ultra fast thermal swing adsorption is enabled by the very high rates of heat transfer enabled by microchannels. Natural gas upgrading systems have six main unit operations: feed compressor, dehydration unit, nitrogen rejection unit, deoxygenator, carbon dioxide scrubber, and a sales compressor. The NRU is the focus of the development program, and a bench-scale demonstration has been initiated. The Velocys NRU system targets producing methane with greater than 96% purity and at least 90% recovery for final commercial operation. A preliminary cost analysis of the methane upgrading system, including the Velocys NRU, suggests that costs below $2.00 per million (MM) BTU methane may be achieved. The cost for a conventional methane upgrading system is well above $2.30 per MM BTU, as benchmarked in an Environmental Protection Agency study. Initial performance results for the Velocys TSA technology were promising. Velocys has also completed initial discussions with several prospective users of the technology and received positive market feedback. Some of the factors that create an attractive opportunity for the technology include the sustained high prices for natural gas, the emerging system of carbon credits, and continued focus on reducing coal mine emissions. While market interest has been confirmed, improvements and optimization are necessary to move the technology to a point that will enable commercial investment in the technology scale-up. In particular, prospective industry collaborators are interested in seeing validation that the technology can meet real-world conditions, including handling impurities, meeting purity and recovery targets (which requires low dead volume), and meeting cost and manufacturability goals. In this quarter, the system adsorbent has been selected--a granular mesoporous carbon. An overall change to the system to move to a phase change fluid for heating and cooling has been projected to significantly reduce the thermal lag of adsorption and desorption unit. Modeling work using the properties of powder carbon has shown that the overall system performance can be achieved, thus negating the need for structured adsorbents. A revised testing protocol for powder adsorbents has been initiated.},
doi = {10.2172/883125},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/883125}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2006},
month = {4}
}