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HyRadix and IFP Partner To Develop Ethanol-To-Hydrogen Reforming

HyRadix and France’s IFP (Institut Français du Pétrole) announced a joint multi-year development program to extend the capability of HyRadix’ autothermal reforming (ATR) technology to process liquid hydrocarbon feed stocks.

Initial work will focus on the production of hydrogen from ethanol.

HyRadix currently offers a range of system for the autothermal reforming of natural gas or propane to hydrogen, and is focused on small-scale hydrogen generation for industrial and vehicle refueling applications.

IFP is a research and industrial development, training and information services center active in the fields of oil and gas, their use (in particular by vehicles), and the new energy and environmental technologies including the production of fuels from biomass, biofuels, hydrogen, and CO2 capture and storage.

We consider HyRadix’s innovative technology to be the next generation in small-scale hydrogen production. Together IFP and HyRadix can quickly extend the leadership position into the area of liquid fuel reforming. We have jointly chosen to focus the initial efforts on ethanol to advance the potential for CO2-neutral electricity generation and vehicle fueling in Europe.

—Jean-Pierre Burzynski, IFP Deputy Director of Refining-Petrochemicals Technology

Hyradix was formed in 2002 by UOP LLC and Süd-Chemie Inc. originally to supply fuel processors—units that reform hydrocarbon fuels into hydrogen—for stationary fuel cells. HyRadix also adapted the technology to produce high purity hydrogen for manufacturing and fueling station applications.

Autothermal Reforming (ATR) is similar to Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) in its basic steps:

  • Compress and purify the gaseous feedstock

  • Catalytic steam reforming of the feedstock to a gas rich in hydrogen and carbon monoxide (CO)

  • Water-gas shift to convert carbon monoxide (CO) to carbon dioxide (CO2) and additional hydrogen

  • Hydrogen gas purification

The difference in the two in how the heat is provided for the reaction. In ATR, a portion of the feed gas is oxidized to obtain a reaction that provides enough heat to drive itself and that generates a maximum amount of hydrogen.

The company currently offers two products for the industrial market: the Aptus on-site hydrogen generator hydrogen supply for companies in the metals processing, edible oils hydrogenation, float glass, electronics and other industries, and the Adéo hydrogen fuel generator for vehicle refueling. Both use gaseous feedstocks.

The Adéo system uses ambient-temperature desulfurization technology to remove odorant and native sulfur from the natural gas or LPG/propane feed. Catalytic autothermal reforming generates the hydrogen. More hydrogen is produced in a water-gas shift converter.

A compact pressure swing absorption (PSA) system purifies the product for low CO content. The Adéo on-site system combines the HyRadix ATR reforming system and advanced PSA technology into a compact low-profile package that produces 50 Nm3/hr or 100 Nm3/hr hydrogen delivered at 7 bar pressure. CO content is less than 5 ppm.

SunLine Transit uses an Adéo hydrogen generator to produce hydrogen for its hydrogen and HCNG buses. (The use of the Hyradix ATR system started as part of a DOE hydrogen project. Following completion of the project, SunLine switched over all its hydrogen production to the generator.)

There are other initiatives investigating using ethanol as a feedstock for hydrogen generation, Virent being one. (Although Virent’s Aqueous Phase Reforming mainly targets liquid sugars as a feedstock.)

UOP, headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois, (which is where Hyradix is located) is a leading international supplier and licensor of process technology, catalysts, adsorbents, process plants, and technical services to the petroleum refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries.

Süd-Chemie is a leading producer and service provider in catalysts and adsorbents and additives with some 60 production and sales companies throughout Europe, America, Africa and Asia.



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