Carbon Sciences Inc. has announced initial test results of its dry reforming of methane technology in a commercial facility.
Byron Elton, Carbon Sciences' CEO, commented, "Earlier this year we began commercial performance testing of our catalyst as part of our aggressive 2011 development plan. As of today, with nearly 600 hours of continuous testing, our breakthrough catalyst performed at levels that exceeded our expectations. In fact, it performed very close to laboratory levels, which were already close to theoretical limits. This is an exciting and important milestone in the quest to use natural gas as a viable transportation fuel."
Unlike other approaches that use compressed natural gas in redesigned gas stations and vehicle engines, Carbon Sciences' technology is aimed at converting natural gas and carbon dioxide into liquid fuels for use as 'drop-in' replacements for petroleum based gasoline and other fuels.
The key to the company's technology is a high performance catalyst for the efficient transformation of CO2 and methane gas into a synthesis gas, which can then be processed into gasoline and other products currently derived from petroleum. The fundamental reaction being catalyzed is known as CO2 reforming of methane.
Ches Upham, Director of Development for Carbon Sciences added, "One of the most encouraging results is that during the testing, the conversion of methane and selectivity to CO and H2 were as high at the end as it was at the beginning. This suggests that we have solved the problem of premature catalyst deactivation that has plagued other dry reforming efforts in the past. It is especially impressive that these results were accomplished without the addition of steam to the reactor, and no precious metal was used in the catalyst formulation."
"Achieving energy independence and security is crucial for the nations of the world," Elton said. "We believe that the successful commercialization of our technology will allow the U.S. and other countries to finally achieve a realistic energy policy that does not depend on petroleum. Abundant domestic natural gas resources can be used to produce all the liquid transportation fuels required, in a cost-effective, secure and environmentally sound manner. The use of a greenhouse gas CO2, as a co-feed, makes our process particularly attractive."