West Virginia University Research Corp. gets $1.4M for hydrogen development

A novel technology for manufacturing hydrogen for use in fuel cells is about to be developed by the West Virginia University Research Corporation with assistance from the federal government, which will cost close to $1.5 million.

According to a news statement from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, the cash was recently granted as part of a larger initiative to create cutting-edge clean hydrogen technology solutions.

The $1.8 million project also has secured nearly $375,000 in non-Department of Energy funding.

When hydrogen is used in a gas turbine or mixed with oxygen in a fuel cell, the only waste products are water and heat, making hydrogen a clean fuel that may be utilized to generate power.

The Research Corporation intends to create a highly intensified gasifier that, when combined with a solid sorbent-based pre-combustion CO2 capture system and some of the plant’s equipment, produces hydrogen fit for fuel cells and CO2 that is ready for sequestration.

Activities for the project include experimental work that is synergistically connected with computational tasks, utilizing the knowledge gained from experimental research for process optimization and economic improvement.

Along with a preliminary techno-economic analysis, the research team will also produce rigorous unit- and plant-level models that have been rigorously validated for the design and optimization of the modular scaled-up process.

Results include hydrogen with a purity of more than 99.9%, a CO2-rich stream that is sequestration-ready and has a purity of more than 96.5%, a method that can produce gasification steam, and a modular, highly intensified system that uses a lot less equipment than conventional gasification systems.

15 industry- and university-led initiatives received a total of $28.9 million in funding from the Department of Energy.

The financing will boost the use of clean hydrogen as a more accessible and cost-effective fuel for transportation, industrial decarbonization, and the production of power.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm stated that “clean hydrogen is a tremendously adaptable instrument for decarbonizing our economy and addressing the climate challenge.” “DOE is investing in projects that will contribute to lowering the cost of producing clean hydrogen, increasing its accessibility as a cost-effective, low-carbon fuel for power production, and creating high-paying jobs.”

The Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, which oversees the National Energy Technology Laboratory of DOE, will oversee the 15 chosen projects, which include the following subjects:

• The cost-effective, carbon-neutral hydrogen production from renewable biomass feedstocks.

• Clean hydrogen production with carbon capture from a mixture of feedstocks including biomass, waste coal, waste plastics, and municipal solid wastes.

• Front-end engineering design studies that help create and put into place carbon capture systems that allow the creation of pure hydrogen from natural gas.

Additionally, DOE disclosed a brand-new $32 million funding opportunity for research proposals in four key areas of interest:

• The creation of technology that will promote the generation of clean hydrogen from renewable biomass, municipal solid waste, coal waste, and waste plastic.

• Further refinement of current natural gas to hydrogen conversion procedures to accelerate their commercialization.

• Performance enhancements for transportation infrastructure and hydrogen pipeline leak detection.

• Possibilities for secure, long-term storage of hydrogen underground.

Since January 2021, FECM has put around $80 million into 46 projects to investigate fresh, eco-friendly ways to create hydrogen and boost the effectiveness of hydrogen-fueled turbines.

The chosen initiatives and the extra research that will be supported are also in support of DOE’s Hydrogen Shot effort, which aims to create new, clean hydrogen routes in the US by reducing the price of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per kilogram in ten years.

In order to decarbonize industrial production and power generation, remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and lessen the negative environmental effects of the extraction and use of fossil fuels, FECM finances research, development, demonstration, and implementation initiatives.

Priority areas of technical effort include carbon capture, carbon conversion, carbon dioxide removal, carbon dioxide transit and storage, hydrogen generation with carbon management, methane emissions reduction, and vital minerals production.