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Workshop / Seminar

Department of Chemistry – Departmental Seminar

Fulmer Hall
Room 201
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About the event

Professor Su Ha
Department of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering
Director of O.H. Reaugh Laboratory for Oil and Gas Research
Washington State University

Caustic Aqueous Phase Electrochemical Reforming (CAPER) for Process Intensified Hydrogen Production

The goal of this project is to provide a near term technology solution for the distributed generation of renewable hydrogen for fuel cell vehicle applications. This project will investigate a novel Caustic Aqueous Phase Electrochemical Reforming (CAPER) process on an oxigenated hydrocarbon, liquid ethanol in this instance, to make strides towards the DOE’s long-term cost target of $4/kg of hydrogen at the dispenser. The proposed CAPER technology utilizes liquid ethanol and electricity, preferably from intermittent renewable sources, to produce high purity (99.99%) hydrogen at high pressure directly from the reactor. By operating at high pressure, the reactants remain in liquid phase while the only product gas is compressed hydrogen. The reduced cell operating potential offered by the ethanol oxidation reaction provides many energy benefits over the conventional water electrolysis technology. The CAPER technology also separates the produced CO2 from H2 in-situ by converting it to water-soluble HCO3, leaving the gaseous hydrogen to bubble out of the caustic solution. The solution is then regenerated by removing high purity carbon dioxide from the solution that can be sequestered or reused. In summary, the proposed CAPER technology has the potential to provide distributed H2 for fuel cell vehicles at $4/kg by combining production of H2 with separation of CO2 in one step at lower temperatures without the use of expensive membranes and external 4-stage compression. This technology could help enable the mainstream use of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and therefore reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector.

Brief Bio:
Su Ha is a professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering. He is also a director for the O.H. Reaugh Laboratory for Oil and Gas Processing Research at WSU. He joined the school in 2005 as an assistant professor after completing his Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has published over 70 publications in the research areas of energy generations from alternative fuels. His researches have been cited over 5,500 times with h-index of 30. In 2014, he was named as Highly Cited Researcher by Thomson Reuters. His researches focus on generating hydrogen gas from bio-fuels and abundant natural gases, developing fuel cells that directly convert the chemical energy of small organic molecules (e.g., formic acid) or logistic fuels (e.g., gasoline and biodiesel) to electrical power, working with natural enzymes to produce electrical power from sugars, and developing electric field-assisted fuel reforming systems.