William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

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L.S. Fan's Patented Chemical Looping Process Moves Towards Commercialization with DOE Investment

Posted: August 21, 2012

As part of a $5 billion investment strategy by the Obama Administration in clean coal technologies and research and development, the Energy Department has invested $988,000 to further develop Ohio State's coal-direct chemical looping (CDCL) process at the Barberton, OH Babcock and Wilcox Power Generation Group project. Led by researcher L.S. Fan, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, CDCL has the potential to achieve one of the lowest cost and most efficient technologies to produce affordable, pure hydrogen while attaining nearly 100 percent C02 control and complying with all environmental regulations.

"Commercial-scale clean coal technologies such as chemical looping will be the game changer that will lay the foundation for a more sustainable future," Fan said.

The patented Ohio coal-direct chemical looping process converts pulverized coal to fuel flexible products in one integrated system. The CDCL unit is unique as it can directly take a coal feedstock without additional first-step gasification and allows both electricity and/or hydrogen production as compared to other chemical loping technologies. The CDCL unit is unparalleled because it can be retrofitted or repowered to existing coal-fired power plants or used for new fleet installations.

The DOE funding will be used to analyze the feasibility and the techno-economics of the commercial-scale unit, explains Fan. Then, together with Babcock & Wilcox, Fan and his team will design and construct a pilot scale demonstration unit of the coal-direct chemical looping system at the Barberton, OH plant.