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Upgrading natural gas

By Edited by Gerald Ondrey |

  A process that produces hydrogen-enriched natural gas, with carbon black as a byproduct, is being developed by Atlantic Hydrogen Inc. (Fredericton NB, Canada; www.atlantichydrogen.com). The company has piloted the process at a scale of 25 m3/h of natural gas and plans to start up a demonstration plant that will produce 1,000 m3/h of H2-enriched natural gas (HENG) toward the end of 2010. In Atlantic Hydrogen’s process, called CarbonSaver, natural gas is flowed through a reactor, where a proprietary pulsed plasma torch dissociates hydrogen from the methane at 1,500–2,500°C. Simultaneously, carbon is released as a fine black powder. Following the reaction, the H2 recombines with the natural gas (forming a richer H2 mix after carbon removal), while the carbon is filtered from the flowing stream. CarbonSaver can be tuned to produce up to 30 vol% HENG, says David Wagner, president. Also, it can be operated at up to 150 psig, so that it may be installed at various locations in a pipeline system or at end user sites, such as industrial customers or power plants. In commercial-scale combustion tests, 10–20 vol% hydrogen-enriched gas has reduced emissions of oxides of nitrogen by as much as 90% and carbon dioxide…
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