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Funding for project "Novel plasma reforming technology for tars reduction in BECCS" awarded by UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

4 August 2022

Lightning strikes within the ash cloud from Mount Rinjani 1995 eruption. Credit: Oliver Spalt CC BY-SA 3.0
Lightning strikes within the ash cloud from Mount Rinjani 1995 eruption. Credit: Oliver Spalt CC BY-SA 3.0

Queen Mary researchers in collaboration with the Chemical Engineering at University College London have won funding for a proof of concept project with the Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme, part of the Government’s Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP), which aims to provide funding to support innovation in hydrogen BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage) technologies.

The project aims to develop a novel and low-cost technology for reducing tar and ash contaminants from biomass gasification to levels suitable to conventional gas cleaning and gas separation technologies. The central element of the new technology is triboelectric plasma generated by a swirling gas flow containing small particles, which self-charge by interacting one with another and with a conducting wall. The initial five months project is to develop a mathematical model supported by a series of lab-scale experiments to prepare for the second phase of the competition to build a prototype reactor in an existing gasification plant.

Gasification is the underpinning technology for biohydrogen and BECCS. The syngas produced from gasification of biomass contains not only the useful CO and H2, but also tars, mixed ash-char particles, and inorganic contaminants. The key challenge for implementing BECCS systems globally is delivering an integrated, engineered system reducing problematic components to a manageable level cost-effectively. QMUL and UCL will explore the feasibility of a novel solution to remove these contaminants from syngas by employing a novel self-powered plasma catalytic system for particles and tars removal and develop a costed plan for implementing this solution in an existing gasification plant.

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Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Leading economy-wide transformation by backing enterprise and long-term growth, generating cheaper, cleaner, homegrown energy and unleashing the UK as a science superpower through innovation.

This funding has been made available from the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the 2020s and 2030s. The Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme aims to provide funding to support innovation in hydrogen BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage) technologies.

Contact:Sergey Karabasov
Email:s.karabasov@qmul.ac.uk
Website:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hydrogen-beccs-innovation-programme
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Updated by: Sergey Karabasov