Raven SR, an American cleantech company founded in 2018, develops a unique steam/CO₂ reforming technology, which transforms solid waste, organic waste, and methane into high-quality, clean hydrogen and Fischer-Tropsch synthetic fuels.
Challenge: waste gasification
We need to turn the carbonaceous trash into useful hydrogen-rich syngas. The hydrogen-rich syngas can be used to make hydrogen (H₂) fuel. Through the Fischer-Tropsch process, the hydrogen-rich syngas can be reformed to renewable fuels.
Gasification is a technology that can turn any carbon-based raw material into syngas. Gasification occurs in a gasifier, which is a high-temperature and high-pressure vessel. In a gasifier, air and steam are directly contacted with the carbonaceous raw materials, triggering a series of chemical reactions that produce syngas.
Problems with gasification include poor conversion and the release of air pollutants. Complex organic compounds and the formation of soot and dioxin cannot be destroyed by the gasifier's temperature, even if some of the feedstock is burned with oxygen or air to raise the temperature. Moreover, burning some of the feedstock creates CO₂, which dilutes the H₂ in the syngas. This combustion is fueled by adding air, which further dilutes the H₂ with nitrogen. Therefore, gasification has had many failed attempts, bad economics, and harsh criticism around the world as a "incinerator in disguise".
Raven SR Technology
Raven develops a steam/CO₂ reforming technology that uses electrical heating to achieve exceedingly high temperatures in the reactor, thereby eliminating the need for combustion or oxygen-blown combustion. Through reforming chemistry, the high-temperature reactor can nearly completely convert hydrocarbon, CO₂, and steam to hydrogen-rich syngas with little CO₂ or N₂ diluent.
Raven has designed various high-temperature reactors with electrical heating for producing hydrogen-rich syngas.
Figure 1 depicts a cylindrical reactor.
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