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Method for Producing Hydrogen from Coal and Natural Gas

Date Posted
U.S. Patent Pending


Research is active on a method to produce hydrogen from coal and natural gas via chemical looping fuel gasification and steam oxidation with novel metal oxides. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.


Chemical looping combustion (CLC) is a promising technology for coal- and natural gas-derived energy production that may also may provide a low-cost and environmentally benign method to produce hydrogen.

Hydrogen production during CLC can be achieved through steam oxidation with metal oxides; however, the steam reaction generally requires a strong reducing gas such as syngas for the initial reduction of iron oxides.

The procedure described in this opportunity employs novel oxygen carriers containing group II metal ferrites for the hydrogen production process. A strong reducing agent is not required for the initial reduction of group II ferrites, and reduction can be performed by the direct reaction with coal and natural gas. The reduced group II ferrites react with steam at 800 C to produce pure hydrogen.

  • Low-cost process
  • Environmentally safe components
  • Hydrogen production at relatively low temperatures (e.g., 800 C)
  • Stable performance

Hydrogen is used in oil refineries, for ammonia, methanol production, and fuel cells, among many other applications. It is the precursor for many everyday products. Therefore, this process will be used in both government and industry.

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