Pyrolysis Steam Reformer (PyStR™)

The PyStR™ Technology system incorporates a novel, jetting, very high heat transfer direct fuel and sorbent contact reactor which is utilized to steam reform coal, giant cane, wood chips, or any other biomass, and chemically separate carbon dioxide.   The pyrolysis of biomass is accomplished by direct contact between the biomass fuel stock and hot granular calcined lime at moderate pressures.   The lime is re-carbonated to limestone directly producing near pure H2 and heat for endothermic (heat consuming) steam reforming.  The resulting limestone stream is then re-circulated and re-calcined (regenerated removing the CO2).   Essentially 100% of the CO2 can be prevented from entering the atmosphere. 

The PyStR™ technology is an inexpensive and simple method of reforming hydrocarbons (carbonaceous materials) and calcining lime to chemically separate hydrogen and carbon dioxide into two separate streams.  It converts common cheap ingredients (coal or wood, air, water) into near pure streams of hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen (N2).  It produces no flue gas. 

The technology produces near pure hydrogen in a single step process simply by feeding coal or biomass chips into a hot jetting granular lime filled reactor.  The biomass is pyrolyzed and steam reformed into hydrogen and oxides of carbon, which immediately react with the lime producing heat to sustain pyrolysis and steam reforming while also forming limestone.  A novel gas/solids separator returns the sorbent (limestone) to an indirect calciner, where the limestone is re-calcined (effectively separating out a stream of near pure carbon dioxide) and re-circulated back to the reactor as lime.  Separate streams of near pure hydrogen and carbon dioxide exit the reactor.   Thus the direct hydrogen production, gas/solids separation, and re-calcination steps achieved within this novel reactor are all significant improvements over existing state-of-the-art technologies.  Moreover, it greatly simplifies the process.  We are focusing our efforts in getting this technology to market. We plan to complete a prototype and commercialize the PyStR hydrogen production process during 2007.