Catalyx Nanotech Begins Converting Landfill Gas to Nanofibers, Hydrogen at a Southern California Landfill
Catalyx Nanotech, Inc., has started operating a pilot project to convert landfill gas (LFG) to nanofibers and hydrogen at a closed southern California landfill. Previously, this pilot unit was operating as a production plant in Burnaby, Canada, using natural gas as the feed source and producing 2.0 kg of nanofibers per day.
The pilot project currently operates on a reduced capacity for a single shift each day producing approximately 0.5 kg of high value Platelet Graphite Nanofibers and 2,000 liters of hydrogen from a completely renewable resource. The materials are not being produced for commercial sale and will be used for extensive analyses and tests for design of large-scale commercial production plants.
The pilot will help determine the operating limits of the proprietary process, which relies on a patented catalyst to selectively crack methane and produce structured graphitic platelet fibers and pure hydrogen, with no other byproducts.
Our advantage is that we are able to produce nanofibers at greater than 99% purity, as well as 100% green hydrogen in a one-step process. Purification of nanomaterials from typical carbon batches is an extremely expensive undertaking for commercial applications. Catalyx Nanotech is eliminating the extra work and, consequently, the expense of separating nanofibers from byproducts, such as amorphous carbon, soot, etc., that make nanomaterials so costly today. We expect to commoditize nano-scale graphite materials at prices comparable to high quality synthetic graphite used in electrodes and refractory applications.
After some preliminary test runs, we will also integrate a small fuel cell to demonstrate how the electrochemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen can produce electrical energy, as opposed to the direct combustion of hydrogen and oxygen to produce thermal energy. This in situ generation of green electricity with a zero-carbon footprint is just one possible use of the hydrogen.—Yinan Jin, Catalyx Nanotech Chief Research Scientist