|Solar hydrogen generator prototype|
Solar Hydrogen Energy Corporation (SHEC) has released a private placement offering to raise C$10 million (US$9 million) to fund deployment of the first phase of the proposed SHEC Station #1, a Solar Hydrogen Production Facility at the Fleet Street Landfill in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
The plant, based on SHEC’s Dry Fuel Reformation process—will use an array of 30 modules each of which comprises a solar mirror array and advanced solar concentrator and shutter system, and two thermocatalytic reactors to convert methane, carbon dioxide, and water into hydrogen. (Earlier post.)
The Dry Fuel process essentially substitutes solar heat for the steam heat used in steam methane reforming. SHEC uses the solar arrays to heat carbon dioxide (CO2) and purified landfill methane (CH4) to 850 °C in the presence of a catalyst to form H2 and carbon monoxide. A water-cooled iris dilates to control the amount of radiant energy directed to this reaction phase.
The CO and water then flow into a water–gas shift reactor at 200° C to yield H2 and CO2. The H2 is separated from the CO2, which is recycled into the first reaction.
Reaction 1: CO2 + CH4 → 2H2 + 2CO
ΔHf + 917 kJ/mole
Reaction 2: CO + H2O → H2 + CO2
ΔHf -40.6 kJ/mole
SHEC says that more than 98% of the CH4 that feeds the reaction is converted to H2, with a net energy gain of more than 14% before factoring in the solar energy expended.
The first phase of this proposed facility will include installing the gas collection and cleaning system to produce the cleansed synthetic natural gas from the City’s landfill and then to further process this into hydrogen with the installation of the first 5 solar hydrogen production modules.
SHEC will perform research and development of a direct solar water splitting technology at this proposed facility.
The proposed facility, once fully deployed, will produce 1.2 million kg of hydrogen per year at a targeted production cost of C$0.75 per to C$1.25/kg.
Theoretically, the technology deployed at SHEC Station #1 can be reproduced at thousands of landfill locations around the world and can be expanded to apply not only to landfills, but also to biogas, flare gas and vent gas from the oil and gas industry, stranded gas, coal bed methane and natural gas.