Renewable Natural Gas from Carbonaceous Wastes via Phase Transition CO2/O2 Sorbent Enhanced Chemical Looping Gasification


Led by NC State Professor Dr. Fanxing Li, this project aims to develop a significantly intensified, sorbent enhanced – chemical looping gasification (SE-CLG) process, which combines biomass gasification, air separation, and syngas conditioning and cleaning into a single circulating fluidized bed (CFB) gasifier to produce methanation ready syngas. The SE-CLG technology being developed has excellent potential to produce cost-competitive renewable natural gas (RNG) to serve the domestic market. During 2023, Dr. Li reported that KIETS support enabled optimization and testing of the phase transition sorbents and mechanistic studies to guide the sorbent design.

A circulating fluidized bed gasifier cold model was also designed and operated in collaboration with Particulate Solid Research, Inc. based in Chicago and the partners are currently contracting a vendor to construct the hot unit for scale-up demonstration of the technology. Use of mixed oxide for thermal energy storage and direct air capture of CO2 were also explored, generating promising results. Dr. Li reported 7 published articles in leading peer-reviewed journals; one patent application filed for sorbent enhanced gasification and reforming processes; 10 invited seminars and conference presentations; and 2 graduate students and one post doc directly involved in the research project.

PhD student Leo Brody is a member of the KIETS 2023 Climate Leaders cohort with Dr. Li as his mentor. Also, Catalytic and Redox Solutions LLC (CatRedox), an NC State based start-up, was created and licensed technologies developed with KIETS support. CatRedox has continued to perform well, having leveraged greater than $2 million R&D funding from both the government and private sectors. Further scale up and technology verification is underway. CatRedox is also in close contact with several large chemical and petrochemical companies for further technology development. KIETS support for this research is leveraged with support from the Department of Energy (DOE), Novo Nordisk Foundation, and CatRedox.