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Standard Hydrogen introduces method to turn most garbage into hydrogen

Standard Hydrogen Company is introducing a method to convert garbage into hydrogen fuel. This technology began as an effort to improve the way the oil and gas industry has been disposing of its toxic hydrogen sulfide. Standard Hydrogen converts this expensive aspect of the refinery business—the disposal of hydrogen sulfide—into cost-effective and ecologically sound production of high purity hydrogen and sulfur.

Once we realized we could easily convert a variety of waste streams into hydrogen sulfide it was a simple matter of applying our patented technology to turn garbage into hydrogen.

—Alan Mintzer, Standard Hydrogen CEO

Some examples of waste that can be turned into hydrogen include: plastic, tires, paper, wood, mattresses, rotting food and even used clothing. Any remnants would become non-toxic, non-polluting compounds. Metals and glass would not be used in this process.

The company has recently proven the science behind the new technology by economically producing hydrogen from hydrogen sulfide. More research and development will be conducted through mid-2020, while seeking additional joint venture partners to complete the engineering phase of the technology rollout.

The company’s process requires no precious metal catalysts and requires little to no maintenance. The company says that its operation is easy, cost-efficient, and most importantly, environmentally clean.

Comments

mahonj

Impressive, if it works out.
As many people on this website have pointed out, H2 is not an ideal fuel, but if you can make it easily, the calculus starts to change.

Engineer-Poet

Irritating article (linked article links to ANOTHER article), worse company web site.  The Standard H2 "technology" page doesn't say a thing about their technology, just makes claims about what it does.  This has all the signs of a scam.

sd

Yes you can turn hydrogen sulfide into hydrogen and sulfur just like you can turn water into hydrogen and oxygen. Just add energy -- lots of energy. Just another dumb hydrogen concept. Also, it is relatively easy to turn garbage into methane without adding external energy.

Alan Mintzer

Hi Engineer-Poet,

I would be more than happy to provide whatever technical information you would like, provided it is not proprietary. I am sorry you are not a fan of our website, however, it can be useful for requesting information by completing the "Email Us" form on the CONTACT page. If you have already done that, I have a substantial backlog of information requests I am working my way through, and would ask you to be patient. If you have not requested information, let me provide some here. This is from my Chief Science Officer and Senior Chemist, James Wasas...

Our StandardH2 process for the production of hydrogen from waste hydrocarbons relies on a simple two-step conversion of hydrocarbon waste into hydrogen. The first step is well known in the scientific and patent literature and is the reaction of liquid or gaseous sulfur with hydrocarbons to yield hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and carbon-sulfur polymers known as carsuls. The second step is to split the H2S produced in the first step with our patented H2S splitting technology. The carsuls produced in the first step can be decomposed into sulfur and carbon so that the sulfur and carbon can be reused, or the carsuls can potentially be used as alternatives for asphalt, plastics, etc.

It is also well known in the scientific literature that the energy released by the combustion of hydrogen with oxygen is roughly 11.7 times that required to split hydrogen sulfide into hydrogen and sulfur. Also, well known is the efficiency of using a hydrogen fuel cell to convert hydrogen into electricity, currently around 93%. What is not known, but was under investigation before the coronavirus shut down our R&D effort, is the efficiency of our process to split H2S into hydrogen and sulfur for reuse of the sulfur and sale of the carbon. We believe that our H2S splitting process will be roughly 90% efficient or better, but we can not guarantee that with certainty until we have passed the pandemic and our R&D process resumes.

It is important to note that the availability of hydrogen from hydrocarbon waste varies dramatically with the hydrocarbon. For example, methane has 25.13% available hydrogen compared to polyethylene with 14.37%, polystyrene with 7.74% and PETE with 4.03%.

Engineer-Poet, I hope this satisfies your initial curiosity, and in the future may I suggest you use the CONTACT page form so we can communicate more directly. This applies to any reader who has a question. The website is actually excellent and does provide quite a bit of information, however, deep technical data loses most of a company's readers so most companies do not get too technical on a website.

Stay healthy.

Alan Mintzer
Chief Executive Officer
Standard Hydrogen Company, Inc.

Engineer-Poet

Alan,

Just have your webmaster add your second paragraph to your "Technology" page as plain text.

Alan Mintzer

Engineer-Poet,

Thank you for your constructive criticism and suggestion. I will address it.

Be well.

Davemart

Alan:

Many thanks for posting a substantive response here.
I do have a further question on the information you provide.

'the efficiency of using a hydrogen fuel cell to convert hydrogen into electricity, currently around 93%.'

I am not aware of how that works.

The PEM fuel cell in a Nexo car is around 60% efficient.

The only way I know of that you can hit 90% plus is by using the waste heat in the reaction to heat water.

Would you please give details on your figures?

With thanks.

David ( a fan of hydrogen in the energy system! :-))

Alan Mintzer

Hello David,

Thanks for your interest.

To begin, I am familiar with Hyundia's Nexo FCEV platform, however, I am not certain of the efficiencies they are realizing in their fuel cell, or their vehicle as a whole. When calculating overall vehicle efficiency there are losses at the electric motor. I am curious to know if those losses are included in the 60% figure you quoted.

The figure I quoted in one of my previous comments is supported by Frano Barbir in his book, PEM Fuel Cells (Second Edition), 2013. In the book, see chapter 3, Fuel Cell Electrochemistry, section 3.6 Fuel Cell Efficiency at the following URL (are we allowed to use URLs in posts?) :

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/fuel-cell-efficiency

To save you some time (there's some deep mathematics in the book), the last paragraph in section 3.6 states:

"Well-designed fuel cells may operate with 83% to 85% fuel utilization when operated with reformate and above 90% when operated with pure hydrogen. Note that the current efficiency term in Equation (3-65) is included in fuel utilization, ηfu in Equation (3-66)."

David, I hope my answer provides the data you are seeking.

Best,

Alan Mintzer
Chief Executive Officer
Standard Hydrogen Company, Inc.

SJC_1

This has all the signs of a scam....
Says EP.

Davemart

Hi Alan.

You quoted a very specific figure of 93% efficiency, giving the impression that that is a precise and defined measurement.

Your link to substantiate that nowhere mentions 93%, so where did you source the figure from?

And your link says moreover:

'Well-designed fuel cells may operate with 83% to 85% fuel utilization when operated with reformate and above 90% when operated with pure hydrogen.'

That is fuel utilisation, not efficiency.
Why are you confounding the two?

And why do you have to go back to 2013 to find anything which purports to support your case?

And even then, a 9.5 your link says:

'The fuel cell theoretical efficiency is 83% (Equation 2-43), based on hydrogen’s higher heating value. The actual fuel cell efficiency in operation is much lower because of various losses (heat, electrode kinetics, electric and ionic resistance, mass transport). Additional components, such as fuel processor, power conditioning, and balance of plant, cause additional losses on the system level. '

So your claim that:

'Also, well known is the efficiency of using a hydrogen fuel cell to convert hydrogen into electricity, currently around 93%. '

is at best unsubtantiated and deeply misleading.

That casts considerable doubt on the rest of your claims.

Alan Mintzer

Dave,

There is no need to be argumentative about semantics or accusatory about the veracity of our claims. To begin with, you began your post with, "You quoted a very specific figure of 93% efficiency, giving the impression that that is a precise and defined measurement."

Actually, I did not. I specifically used the language, " currently AROUND 93%." The reason I used ambiguous language (like "around") with less precision was because in the limited time I had I could not find specific references other than vague memory and the book I referenced. I realize any engineer would be very interested in all the places to the right of the decimal in any kind of performance metric, but I also wrote in my post that we were in the middle of acquiring data when the pandemic shut us down. The precise data will come over the few months following the pandemic.

That said, I think you are looking at this too closely.... Hydrogen fuel cells do not figure in our solution, but add a level of cleanliness to our process.

To get back to where we started; our reactor consumes a stream of hydrocarbon waste, converts it into hydrogen sulfide gas, splits that H2S gas into its constituent elements (hydrogen and sulfur), stores the hydrogen and reuses the sulfur. That is it, a relatively simple two step process. However, in this configuration our reactor would need to be connected to the power grid to operate. The power grid is not necessarily green.

Even a Tesla vehicle pollutes in many cases. Think about it; you arrive home from work and plug in your Tesla to recharge overnight. Do you really know if your electric service comes from a coal-fired power plant, or natural gas, or oil, etc..? It is very possible your power, and therefore your Tesla are not clean.

So, for our purposes, to avoid this potential issue with the power source of our reactors, we include a hydrogen fuel cell. We simply siphon off some hydrogen from the reactor outlet, feed it to the fuel cell, and derive enough power to power our reactor. Is it critical if the reactor operates at 93% efficiency (or utilization)? Not really.

Lets say hypothetically speaking using arbitrary figures our reactor produces ten kilograms of hydrogen per hour, and our hydrogen fuel cell requires two kilograms of hydrogen per hour to sufficiently power the reactor. We are left with eight kilograms of hydrogen every hour to power the world. So, if the efficiency of the fuel cell is 93%, or 83%, or even 23%, we are still cleaning up the global waste while producing hydrogen for industry and vehicles, without producing any pollutants or greenhouse gases, and without using outside power. Pretty darn cool, huh? Of course, the higher the efficiency of the fuel cell, the greater the volume of hydrogen emanating from the reactor, but the fuel cell is not the focus at this time.

In fact, the fuel cell was a recent addition to the StandardH2 process and while we are still efforting the mathematics of the system, as I have stated, the pandemic is slowing that effort down.

I am sure I will get a few TL;DRs (Too Long; Didn't Read) but I took the time to explain this so the focus is where we feel it needs to be; cleaning the planet and providing clean power for it as well, not the fuel cell.

Be well, Dave.

Alan Mintzer
Chief Executive Officer
Standard Hydrogen Company, Inc.

Engineer-Poet

Alan,

You've got the makings of a good Q&A segment in these comments.  A bit of cleanup to clarify salient details to engineering precision and you would have a valuable addition to your website's technology page.

One thing about engineering precision:  a 23%-efficient FC is going to consume over 3x the hydrogen as a 73%-efficient FC to produce the same output energy.  Unless you're cracking H2S to H2 and elemental sulfur using e.g. waste heat from a SOFC, you are going to reach some point at which your inefficient FC consumes all your hydrogen.

I'd suggest running on a direct-carbon fuel cell and saving your hydrogen, but those may not be ready for prime time yet.

Alan Mintzer

E-P,

I realize the inefficiencies of a fuel cell operating at 23% efficiency (no self respecting fuel cell company would market and sell a fuel cell operating at that level), but I was just trying to make a point.

Thanks for the kudos regarding the Q & A segment. Once the pandemic passes and we can commence R & D we will be able to nail down performance metrics of various components. When that happens, we can publish more hardened figures.

Alan Mintzer
Chief Executive Officer
Standard Hydrogen Company, Inc.

Davemart

Alan:

For the record I am a long time supporter of fuel cells on this site and elsewhere, and a long time critic of Tesla, which consumes vast amounts of subsidy and on a lifetime emission basis where the battery is very energy intensive to produce is a massively inefficient way to reduce emissions compared to simple hybridisation.

My advocacy of fuel cells means though that I find it particularly trying when inaccurate figures are bandied around to support them.

Since you have produced nothing at all to show where you got your 93% from, it would appear that it is a matter of invention.

I have indeed seen figures like that, for home fuel cells, but they are for electrical plus thermal efficiency as the otherwise wasted heat can be utilised to provide hot water.

Some years ago Ceres Power were often a subject of discussion on this website,

They provided extensive documentation, and I never found a figure which they could not back up.

If the figures I can check do not work out, that greatly decreases my confidence in the proprietory figures you provide for the reaction which you advocate.

You state:

'the disposal of hydrogen sulfide—into cost-effective and ecologically sound production of high purity hydrogen and sulfur.'

A cavalier dismissal of the difference between 23% and 93% does not encourage the view that your notions of what may or may not be cost effective, or high purity for that matter, are soundly based.

Numbers are important, and so is accuracy.

gryf

Alan:

My question is - have you investigated a Molten Carbonate Fuel Cel (MCFC) like FuelCell Energy makes to generate your electricity? (Actually, Engineer-Poet did suggest running on a direct-carbon fuel cell similar to a MCFC.)
An MCFC does not like Hydrogen Sulfide, so its removal is important and you will not use any hydrogen.
What do you think?

gryf

Alan:
A clarification to my earlier post: an MCFC does use hydrogen at the anode, however, it is internally reformed from the methane and steam in the gas. Reference: http://www.fuelcellenergy.com/assets/Fuel-Cell-Technology-White-Paper.pdf.
Not sure if you have excess methane in your process.

gryf

Another suggestion: instead of selling hydrogen, sell electricity. You can stay with the PEM fuel cells. Check out the ClearGen Project run by HDF Energy at https://www.cleargen.eu/the-project.

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