A three-year collaborative project to develop a new low-cost process to convert the natural gas that is commonly flared at industrial sites could benefit a number of industrial sectors.
A three-year collaborative project to develop a new low-cost process to convert the natural gas that is commonly flared at industrial sites could benefit a number of industrial sectors including the carbon fiber industry, carbon composite, electronics, electrical arc steel making, polymer additives and many others, all while having a positive effect on the economy and environment.
A $3 million cooperative agreement awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to West Virginia University engineers John Hu and Xingbo Liu at the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, aims to mitigate the emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere caused by natural gas flaring and harness the gas into high-value solid carbon and hydrogen for fuel.
Gas flaring is practiced in a variety of different scenarios: when gas is considered uneconomical to collect and sell, for safety and emergency purposes, and for maintenance and testing purposes. If there is no infrastructure to readily transport the gas, it is simply burned off.
The project plans to use a microwave-enhanced system to convert natural gas to carbon nanomaterials and hydrogen under lower temperatures for increased energy efficiency.
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