Carbon Sciences Inc. (OTCBB: CABN) announced that it has completed several promising tests of its new high performance steam reforming catalyst.
After several months of designing and perfecting a new steam reforming set-up, the company has completed its first successful set of tests. With several hundred hours of testing at different flow rates and steam-to-carbon (S:C) ratios, stable operation was achieved without problems usually caused by sintering or coking, problems that all commercial catalysts must overcome. Coking is the deposition of carbon materials from the reaction on the catalyst surface that deactivates the catalyst. Sintering is the physical fusing of catalyst particles under high temperature and high pressure into larger particles that are less active.
Particularly encouraging is that the tests were performed at a low 1.5 steam-to-carbon ratio. Existing steam reforming catalysts must run at higher S:C ratios to prevent carbon formation.
Byron Elton, CEO of Carbon Sciences, commented, "High and stable conversions under 850 degree Celsius at low S:C ratios gives us confidence that our catalyst will be a game changer in the natural gas steam reforming industry. Operating at a lower S:C ratio will reduce the energy costs associated with heating and vaporizing water into steam. Less steam usage will allow for more natural gas to be processed into syngas. Our drop-in replacement catalyst will allow steam reforming plants to operate cleaner, greener and more profitably by consuming less energy, emitting less CO2, and making more money with minimal equipment changes."
The company estimates that the combined savings from a reduced S:C ratio of 1.5 and the increased production capacity would generate $5 million in annual economic value for a single medium-sized steam reforming hydrogen plant. The current annual worldwide hydrogen production is more than 50 million metric tons. The potential economic value of the company's breakthrough catalyst is estimated to be $5-6 billion per year.
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