Praxair, Inc. has won $35m from the U.S. Department of Energy to accelerate the development of oxygen transport membrane (OTM) systems.
OTM systems offer a significant reduction in the cost of oxygen for synthesis gas (syngas) and oxy-fuel combustion. The investment builds upon previous Department of Energy (DOE) supported work to develop basic materials, membrane structures and process integration strategies.
This new grant will fund OTM equipment and systems development. In particular it shall finance pilot-scale combustion and syngas units to demonstrate performance and provide critical data which can subsequently be used to design commercial-scale facilities.
Praxair’s OTM technology forms the basis for a zero-emissions, advanced power cycle capable of meeting long-term DOE electricity cost targets for coal-based power plants with carbon dioxide capture. Furthermore, the firm advises that other applications might also benefit from the commercialisation of OTM. In particular, combustion applications in manufacturing and process plants that may be required to control carbon dioxide emissions in the future.
OTM syngas systems work by efficiently converting natural gas and other hydrocarbons to mixtures of hydrogen and carbon monoxide used for making chemicals and liquid fuels.
Praxair, the largest industrial gases company in both North and South America, is a recognised player in oxygen-based combustion, owning over 200 patents on relevant technologies. The firm saw sales of $9 bn during 2009.