PCI Wins DOE SBIR Award for New System for Reforming Refinery Gas to Hydrogen

July 12, 2016

(North Haven, CT) Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) announced a Department of Energy (DOE) SBIR Phase I award to explore a new reforming system for more fully using refinery gas, or still gas, to produce hydrogen for internal refinery needs. The proposed system uses advanced Microlith® catalysts, with the goal of enabling refineries to more fully use still gas as a feedstock for hydrogen production, improving refinery energy efficiency with increased operational flexibility and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Global demand for refinery hydrogen has increased significantly over the past decade due to changes in available crude feedstocks and tighter environmental regulations. Petroleum refining produces substantial quantities of low value refinery process gases, or “still gas”. The composition variability of this gas leads to much of it being burned in refinery boilers for relatively low value. Much higher value would be produced if the gas were reformed to hydrogen. With refinery economics increasingly hydrogen-limited, increasing hydrogen production from refinery gases offers significant gains in refinery product value and reduced energy consumption and greenhouse gas production.

“Our process-intensified short contact time system offers the opportunity for a higher value use for refinery gas, offering significant reduction in operational cost and associated energy savings.” says Principal Investigator Dr. Saurabh A. Vilekar. “PCI’s approach can enable hydrogen generation from still gas over a wide range of compositions without significant capital investment.”

PCI President Kevin Burns added “This development could substantially help refinery processing energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions, both DOE objectives. We’re hopeful about this proof of concept project, and are looking for potential refinery partners interested in participating as we move forward.”

Precision Combustion, Inc. is a clean energy technology development company directed to energy sector applications. To learn more, visit www.precision-combustion.com

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