Supercritical Water Gasification
Project Lead: Chad Huelsman
Supercritical water gasification (SCWG) of biomass is an emerging green energy alternative to fossil-derived fuel gas. Employing supercritical water as a processing medium circumvents thermal inefficiencies associated with conventional gasification, namely, moisture removal. Additionally, supercritical water has unique properties, which make it an excellent solvent. Unfortunately, little is known about the chemistry leading to gas and undesirable, potentially harmful byproducts. This project investigates the products, reaction pathways, and mechanisms associated with SCWG of biomass model compounds, elucidating the underlying chemistry of this process and providing vital information for an eventual environmental impact assessment.
Project Lead: Yang Guo
This project focuses on hydrogen production by non-catalytic and catalytic supercritical water gasification of biomass model compounds. Currently, our work focuses on gasification of indoles because they are an important type of intermediate products formed during the gasification of algae, pharmaceutical intermediates, and the main components of coal tar in coal gasification wastewaters. This project focuses on the reaction mechanisms and kinetics as well as the nature of heterogeneous catalytic reactions.