Dimensional Energy, headquartered in Ithaca, New York, has developed a solar thermal-catalytic reactor for the production of syngas using a ~2.7 m2 parabolic mirror on a 2-axis solar tracker. The mirror focuses sunlight into Dimensional Energy’s concentrated solar chemical reactor with minimum balance of plant and feed gas flow controls. The sunlight is converted to thermal energy, heating the reactor to above the catalyst’s minimum operating temperature. H2 and CO2 feed gases are mixed in a 2:1 molar ratio at around 1 to 2 bar pressure and fed through the chemical reactor. The chemical reaction is reverse water-gas shift (RWGS): CO2 + H2 → CO + H2O. Upon exit, the hot product gas mixture (primarily CO, H2, H2O, CO2) goes through a heat exchanger with incoming reactant gases to pre-heat them. As product gases cool, water condenses and is removed. The demonstrated output of the process was syngas with ratio approximately 3.1 to 1 (H2 to CO) that also contained CO2 and low amounts of water vapor. The entire process was automated through a PLC and proprietary software program. During all operations during the demonstration, a small stream of the syngas mixture was routed to a control/analytical building where it was fed into a micro-gas chromatograph system to obtain gas composition.
The demonstration was conducted using compressed CO2 from a gas vendor as process feedstock. Typically, the syngas generated by the conversion process would be further processed for use as an intermediate. Separation of CO2 and other post processing was not included in the demonstration Post processing models evaluating removal of CO2 and water, as well as use of syngas for downstream processing (such as for fuel production) are not ISO 14034 verified but are available from Dimensional Energy upon request.
350Solutions has verified the technology according to ISO 14034:2016 ETV and a technology specific verification plan. The objectives and approaches used for this verification were designed to apply these principles and processes to Dimensional Energy’s application for performance verification as presented under the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition. The verification provides Dimensional Energy and potential users of the technology with an independent assessment and verification of performance of the technology.
350Solutions verified Dimensional Energy’s technology according to seven parameters including: operational scale, CO2 embodied in product, product gas production, CO2 conversion efficiency, H2 usage, energy usage, and water usage.