Within the 7th framework of the European Community, UNIfHY project is aimed to develop a steam gasification process, coupled to syngas purification, to produce pure hydrogen from biomass.
The UNIfHY project, founded by Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), is a research and development activity in hydrogen producing technologies from renewable feedstock in Europe. It involves 7 partners, 4 of them are Industrial Companies (ALH2E, EPC, HYGEAR, PALL) 2 Universities (CIRPS, UNISTRA) ed 1 Research (ENEA) organizations, coming from 4 Member States (France, Germany, Italy and Netherlands). The project is aimed at the continuous production of pure hydrogen, from lignocellulosic biomass gasification, which is achieved by means of well established processes and plant components of proven performance and reliability coupled with an innovative gasification reactor, whose feasibility was demonstrated under the goals of UNIQUE (a previous EU Project). In this gasification system the steps of gas cleaning and conditioning were integrated directly into the reaction vessel, thus acting on the gas contaminations since the early stages of their formation. This technology setting allows to obtain a significant improvement in the energy efficiency of the process and a reduction of the total cost investment at the same time. UNIfHY, as a technical and economical evolution of UNIQUE project, will improve tar, contaminants and particulate removal by means of innovations regarding employed materials. Moreover, the fluidized bed gasifier will be coupled with WGS and PSA units which will increase the hydrogen content syngas and will separate it, thus producing a pure H2 stream and a residual purge gas, respectively. Enea is involved in the project with a twofold function: a prototype of 1 MWth integrated gasifier is under development at the Laboratories of Trisaia and, in the meantime, the UTVALAMB LCA Laboratory of Bologna is carrying out environmental evaluations through LCA Analysis.
The IPR strategy has been defined in the Consortium Agreement and it will be applied and respected by all project participants in accordance with the guidelines provided by the IPR-Helpdesk.
D1.1) Midterm Report: Project Management Reports. D1.2) Final Report: Project Management Reports. D2.1) Chemical characterisation of feedstock: Characterization (proximate and ultimate analysis) of all raw materials selected as interesting feedings, to be used in gasification tests. D2.2) Catalytic candles operation: Evaluation of the results of the continuous gasification tests integrated by tar catalytic reforming and particulate abatement of different biomass feedstock utilizing UNIQUE 1 kWth. D2.3) PSA coupling verification: Evaluation of the results of the tests of the 5 Nm3/h PSA (of GVH) with different standard gas compositions that could be obtained by WGSp. D2.4) Synthesis of Fe/Foam catalyst and characterization: Realization and characterization of a series of Fe/alumina/foam catalysts for HT-WGS reactor. D2.5) Synthesis of Cu/Foam catalyst and characterization: Realization and characterization of a series of Cu/Foam catalysts for LT-WGS reactor. D2.6) Fe/Foam and Cu/Foam effectiveness: Assessment of the Fe/Foam and Cu/Foam for WGS operation at real process conditions by means of bench-scale fluidized bed steam gasifier (UNIQUE 1kWth) coupled with a fixed bed bench scale reactor filled with the Cu/Fe/Foam catalysts. D2.7) Reforming and CO2 capture sorbents capacity: Evaluation of the results obtained by tests of Ni-Fe/CO2 sorbents at bench scale reactors. D3.1) PSA unit design and construction: Realization of a stand-alone pressure swing absorber (PSA) for small and industrial scale unique gasifiers. D3.2) WGS unit design and construction: Realization of a Water Gas Shift (WGS) reactor for small and industrial scale unique gasifiers. D3.3) PPS design and construction: Realization of a Portable Purification Unit (PPS) including PSA and WGS for small and industrial scale unique gasifiers. D4.1) Filter candles design and construction: Realization of 6 to 8 PALL filter candles with at least 2 candles catalytic activated for UNIQUE 100 kW and 6 for UNIQUE 1000 kW. D4.2) Test campaign with the 100 kWth pilot gasifier: Test campaign with the prototype reactor: evaluation of the syngas composition by tests on 100 kWth pilot plant under different process parameters (750 D4.3) PPS unit integration: Integration of the Portable Purification Unit (PPS) on the gasifier by Process Flow Diagrams and Process&Instrumentation Drawings. D4.4) UNIfHY 100 long term tests: 3 long term test (200 hours each) on the complete system, using different biomass feedstock. D5.1) Test campaign with the 1 MWth prototype gasifier: Test campaign with the prototype reactor: Parameter tests and gasification tests on UNIfHY 1000 in conventional and advanced configuration (carried out by using the same feedstock). D5.2) UNIfHY 1000 long term tests: Characterization of the output gaseous stream under long running tests and different operating conditions. D5.3) Techno-economical analysis on UNIfHY integration in hydrogen filling stations: test campaign for LCA assessment evaluation and techno-economical analysis for integration with an hydrogen filling station 100 to 500 kgH2/day. D6.1) Kinetic model of reactions in HT-LT water gas shift reactors: determination of the kinetic parameters of the complex heterogeneous reactions inside the catalytic species during the WGS reaction. D6.2) Kinetic model of reactions of hydrocarbon reforming with CO2 capture: modeling activities from micro-scale to macro-scale for the description of the CO2 capture process coupled with WGS, tar reforming, solid chemical looping for carbon capture. D6.3) CFD model of the gasifier with catalytic filter candles in the freeboard: CFD simulation of the fluid dynamics of the freeboard coupled with the chemistry and the kinetics of the catalytic processes taking place inside the candles. D6.4) Optimisation of the overall process and work sheet of the UNIfHY system: Aspen plus tool simulation of the integrated energy conversion chain, process design and optimisation at different plant capacity. D6.5) LCA report: environmental assessment (LCA) conducted on a full scale system, using experimental primary data and extrapolated to a full scale, considering the whole life cycle. A first version will be submitted at month 18 and the final version at month 36. D6.6) LCI data set in ILCD format: ILCD compliant Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) datasets made available to the ILCD data network for free. D7.1) Project Dissemination Report: Project Dissemination Plan: Regular flows of information for the correct planning and distribution of dissemination activities among partners. The dissemination report including the dissemination plan is issued at month 6. Updated dissemination reports, including a review of the activities carried out, are envisaged at month 24 and month 36, respectively. D7.2) Set up of web page: UNIfHY project website describing the project, its goals and highlighting the partners’ roles. D7.3) Project brochure/flyer: production of brochures and flyers on UNIfHY project for the dissemination activities. D7.4) Project videotape: video-release occuring at the end of the project life cycle providing an audiovisual support to the whole project achievements, objectives and critical phases.
UNIfHY project includes innovations regarding employed materials as well as reactors design, as outlined in the following. Innovations regarding materials: 1) New catalytic filter candles already tested and optimized in previous EU project UNIQUE will permit to obtain a high purity syngas for the downstream hydrogen purification system. 2) New materials like Fe-Cu/Foam catalysts will be tested to obtain high efficient H2 purification by means of WGS at atmospheric pressure. Innovations regarding reactors design: 1) New concept of biomass gasifier (UNIQUE technology) will be utilized in the project. This new concept integrates in one reactor vessel the fluidized bed steam gasification of biomass, the hot gas cleaning and conditioning system and the reforming of residual methane. It allows to reduce the thermal losses, thus keeping high the thermal efficiency, in a very compact system and in a cost-effective way. 2) New fixed bed water gas shift (WGS) reactors, operating at atmospheric pressure with very low pressure drop thanks to catalysts integrated on a ceramic foam, will be employed. 3) New PSA for small scale application will be interfaced to WGS reactors and integrated in the whole system, for the complete purification of hydrogen for PEM application.