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    The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
    • 2018-01-10 14:05:59
    • Article ID: 687781

    Researchers Partner with Start-Up on Natural Gas to Hydrogen and Carbon Fiber Technology

    • John Hu

    MORGANTOWN, W. Va.—Researchers from West Virginia University will partner with colleagues from Southern California Gas Company and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on technology that converts natural gas to hydrogen and value-added forms of carbon.

    The availability of unprecedented volumes of shale gas resources present a significant opportunity to develop completely new processes for hydrogen generation.

    “Long-term trends show a preference for non-carbon forms of energy. Hydrogen appears to be the most promising and environmentally benign energy source, since it can be converted into electricity and other energy forms with less pollution and high efficiency,” said John HuStatler Chair in Engineering for Natural Gas Utilization. “However, the objectives of reduced carbon emissions and enhanced use of hydrogen for fuel are in direct conflict as the most commercially viable method for hydrogen production from natural gas via steam methane reforming, produces large amounts of carbon dioxide.”

    Hu’s group at WVU recently reported a promising new catalyst innovation for non-oxidative thermochemical conversion of methane to CO2-free hydrogen and solid carbon nanotubes. The catalysis promotes “base growth” carbon nanotube formation rather than the current “tip growth” technology. Base growth formation enables the catalyst to regenerate while also creating a highly pure and crystalline carbon product. The reaction conditions can be optimized to tune the diameter and length of the CNTs produced. WVU brings catalyst and process background-related intellectual property to the project.

    The goal of the partnership, which is being led by C4-MCP, LLC, a Santa Monica, California-based technology start-up, is to offset the hydrogen production costs with the sales of carbon fiber and CNTs, reducing the hydrogen’s net cost to under $2 per kilogram. This will help make hydrogen-fueled cars and trucks cost-competitive with conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles and will virtually eliminate CO2 emissions from the methane-to-hydrogen process. The carbon fiber can also be used in various medical device, aerospace and building products.

    PNNL will assist WVU in the evaluation of its new process while performing independent bench scale process evaluations to further develop the catalytic system. The work could ultimately lead to a commercial-scale process.

    “The catalytic materials developed and reaction mechanisms evaluated in this study will guide other hydrogen materials selection and innovation,” Hu said.

    The work is being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Fuel Cell Technologies Office.

    -WVU-

    mcd/01/10/18

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    DOE launches its first lithium-ion battery recycling R&D center: ReCell

    DOE launches its first lithium-ion battery recycling R&D center: ReCell

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    A new version of the AFLEET Tool from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory calculates and compares the costs and environmental benefits of a broad range of alternative fuel technologies. Covering 18 fuel/vehicle technologies, AFLEET Online offers an easy-to-use web-based platform.

    Remote-Control Plasma Physics Experiment is Named One of Top Webcams of 2018

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    Jefferson Lab Scientist Awarded Distinguished Lectureship

    Jefferson Lab Scientist Awarded Distinguished Lectureship

    Cynthia Keppel, leader of Jefferson Lab's Halls A&C, has been honored with the APS 2019 Distinguished Lectureship Award on the Applications of Physics.

    Journal Special Issues Honor Chemists Radoslav Adzic and Jan Hrbek

    Journal Special Issues Honor Chemists Radoslav Adzic and Jan Hrbek

    The Journal of the Electrochemical Society and Surface Science recognized the contributions of Brookhaven Lab chemists Radoslav Adzic and Jan Hrbek to electrocatalysis and catalysis.

    Argonne scientist elected as SAE Fellow

    Argonne scientist elected as SAE Fellow

    Scientist Michael Wang from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory was recently inducted as a Fellow of the professional engineering organization SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers). The organization reserves this prestigious grade of membership for thosewho have made significant contributions to mobility technology and have demonstrated leadership in their field.


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    Newly Discovered Design Rules Lead to Better Fuel Cell Catalyst

    Newly Discovered Design Rules Lead to Better Fuel Cell Catalyst

    Optimized oxides made from common metals use less energy and show the potential of new design approach.

    Too Close for Comfort: Nanoparticles Need Some Space to Transfer Energy

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    Hydrogel pores can modify the molecular-level motion of water and dissolved ions.

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    Computer model offers detailed view of water cycling and complex Earth system dynamics.

    Viruses Must Overcome Challenges to Infect Bacteria in Nature

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    Molecular studies show phage-host interactions are more complicated than most laboratory studies suggest.

    The Subtle, but Significant, Role of Surfaces in Ion Stickiness

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    Direct interactions dominate ion adsorption to aqueous graphene, a process central to vital processes in energy technology.


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