Our Hydrogen Production Process – Simply Explained

Viewed from the outside, our Concord Blue Reformer© may look rather inconspicuous. Waste and biomass go in and hydrogen comes out. But behind this seemingly simple process is a number of different technologies and process steps working in unison to reform feedstocks into high quality, green hydrogen. Here we’ll take a look inside and show you key details how our CBR© creates green hydrogen.

Basic tutorial of key process steps of a Concord Blue Reformer©

Six Core Processing Units. A CBR© consists of six smaller processing units (PU), each with a different purpose in the production of hydrogen. The first station “PU1000” prepares the feedstocks for reforming.

The second unit “PU2000” receives the prepared feedstock reforming into clean energy—It’s this stage where the magic happens and is at the heart of our waste to hydrogen technology decomposing and reforming a wide range of feedstocks into hydrogen-rich syngas.

Multi-stage Reforming Process. Our reforming process uses not one but three separate stages. As such, there are three key components for each stage. This includes the Preheater, the Reformer and the Pyrolyzer. These three components are special containers or vessels in which the multi-stage reforming process takes place. These three vessels are arranged sequentially in one line from top to bottom.

The Preheater Vessel located on top of the line contains ceramic beads (“the Heat Carrier”), which are heated to over 1,000 degrees Celsius. The ceramic beads then flow downwards due to gravity through the middle vessel, the Reformer, to the Pyrolyzer Vessel at the bottom of the line. This vessel mixes the heated ceramic beads with the prepared feedstock received from PU1000 and is specially treated to ensure this high heat environment is free of oxygen.

Production of Hydrogen-rich Syngas. As the high temperatures start to breakdown and decompose the feedstocks in this oxygen-starved Pyrolyzer Vessel—a process known as “Thermolysis”, Pyrogas is released. As all gas naturally rises, the Pyrogas starts to flow upwards through our specially designed, double clap values into the middle vessel, the Reformer. Steam is injected to act as a catalyst to facilitate the chemical reactions to assist in reforming the Pyrogas into our core product gas—hydrogen-rich Syngas.

Biochar Used as Heat Source. In addition to the Pyrogas, three additional outputs also exit the Pyrolyzer. These are ceramic beads, ash and biochar. Ceramic beads are separated from the ash and biochar then returned to the Preheater Vessel by elevator to begin the cycle anew. Ash and Biochar, a charcoal-like substance is a byproduct of our Thermolysis process, are sent to “PU3000”, the Oxidizer, where it is oxidized producing the heat source for the Preheater Vessel used to heat the ceramic beads. Leftover ash is moved to storage bins for either use in other products such as fertilizers and construction materials or alternatively landfilled. Therefore, post-startup the Concord Blue Reformer© is self-powered and requires no external energy to reform feedstocks into hydrogen.

From Raw Syngas to Commercial Grade Hydrogen. The Raw Syngas produced in the Reformer Vessel is sent to “PU4000” for cleaning, processing, storage and transport. Technologies used for decades in the chemical, oil and gas industries are leveraged to complete these tasks. A Partial Oxidation Reactor (POX) is used to help clean and enrich the hydrogen content of our Syngas. Water Gas Shift Reactor (WGS) further enriches the product gas by catalytically converting carbon into additional hydrogen. Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) is then used to separate out the hydrogen from other gases to produce a high quality 5.0 hydrogen product gas ready for commercial usage in a wide range of applications. This commercial grade hydrogen is then moved to storage tanks and prepared for transport to the customer.

Additional Process Steps. To support the clean production of our hydrogen, “PU5000” cleans flue gas produced from the plant to remove pollutants before being released into the atmosphere. Likewise, “PU10400” treats the facility’s wastewater in accordance with local standards and regulations.

So… why exactly is our CBR© technology the superior waste to hydrogen solution?

The secret sauce in our CBR© technology was hinted at in our tutorial—the use of special ceramic beads as a Heat Carrier! Many hours of research and development went into the design and production of our ceramic beads. The result is the most efficient and cost-effective mechanism ever developed to transfer heat to feedstocks for reforming, which has been proven to work effectively and reliably in commercial operating environments. The surface area of our ceramic beads has been designed and optimized to ensure heat is disbursed and transferred evenly to feedstocks in the Pyrolyzer to promote high quality Thermolysis. In addition, the ceramic bead’s composition has also been designed and refined over many years to increase retention time to allow heat to be retained over longer periods.

Other key advantages described in our tutorial include our use of a multi-stage reforming process that separates Thermolysis from the Reforming stage producing a higher quality product gas with less tars. Critical for cost-effective operations, our CBR W2H2 facilities are self-powered having the ability to heat our ceramic beads to over 1,000 degrees Celsius from using a by-product produced by the Pyrolyzer—the Biochar. This eliminates the need to use external energy sources post-startup greatly reducing our operating costs and carbon footprint.

Result

In summary, a diverse set of advantages contributes to the success of our Concord Blue Reformers©. Our specially designed ceramic beads to efficiently transfer heat, our double clap valves to allow the two-way flow of materials and gas between the Reformer and Pyrolyzer, a multi-stage reforming process to produce higher quality product gas, the creation and subsequent oxidation of Biochar to provide self-powered operations plus the ability to leverage proven technologies used successfully in other industries (POX, WGS & PSA), all combine to produce the most efficient and cost-effective waste to hydrogen technology & waste management solution available today.

Together

TOWARDS A BETTER FUTURE

If you are interested in learning more about us or acquiring, building, operating and/or licensing our technology, please contact us.