Molten metal technology for the continuous production of carbon without CO2 emissions

Publieke samenvatting / Public summary

Production of carbon and H2 in the industrial clusters are one of the major sources of CO2 emissions. Approximately 4 and 10 tonnes of CO2 is emitted for each tonne of carbon black and H2 production, respectively. CO2 is produced as a result of process emissions and also from combustion of unconverted carbon present in the off gases. TNO has developed an award winning pyrolysis1 process, which coverts hydrocarbon feedstock(s) directly to solid carbon and H2 without any CO2 emissions. Thus resulting in a high carbon efficiency process for converting feedstocks to products.

The main goal in this project is to develop an intensified molten metal based pyrolysis process converting methane towards carbon and hydrogen upto TRL 4 This project will investigate the efficiency of producing solid carbon and hydrogen from hydrocarbons feedstock. The process intensification of combining the production of carbon by molten metals and its removal by molten salts will be experimentally investigated based on the filed patent concept. The symbiosis effect of production and use of CO2 free H2 will be investigated for applications such as feedstock in refineries and as an energy carrier for furnaces and turbines. Finally, the impact of using circular feedstocks such as flue gases from refineries to direct carbon and H2 will be theoretically investigated. Overall the work in this project covers a wide variety of topics such as process efficiency, carbon neutral industry, industrial symbiosis and circularity of feedstocks with a focus study on the production of carbon and H2 production for applications and use for CABOT as one of the largest producers of carbon black. After this project, the molten metal technology is ready to be demonstrated in a pilot plant.

Korte omschrijving
The development of continuous production of carbon without CO2 emissions and hydrogen production using molten metal technology is organized in five different content related work packages:
WP1: User case definition.
WP2: Effect of use of metal compositions and temperatures on quality of carbon.
WP3: Use of molten salt for continuous separation and removal of carbon.
WP4: Assessment of produced carbon
WP5: Techno-economic evaluation for the scale up for 80 kta carbon production facility based on linear scaleup of laboratory results.

The overall result after this project will be the development of the advanced pyrolysis process upto TRL 4 by a combination of experimental work and technical-economic evaluation. The experimental work entails amongst others a bench-scale continuous conversion unit optimized towards combining high productivity concepts with a patented solution for producing high purity carbon. Detailed characterization of the produced carbon is known to steer the pyrolysis process to the desired quality of the carbon. A detailed technical-economic evaluation will be done to guide the research.