Esther Acha Peña and Ion Agirre-Arisketa: Innovative, "green methane" system

Title

Development of an innovative reaction system in “green methane” production by in-situ steam adsorption

Mentor 1

Esther Acha Peña

University

Bilbao, Spain: Universidad del Pais Vasco

Department

Environmental Engineering

Biosketch

Dr. Acha Peña is an Assistant Professor at the Engineering School of Bilbao. She teaches courses related to Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Her Ph.D. research was related to hydrogen purification employing selective membranes. She has worked in different areas related to hydrogen purification, separation and production.

Mentor 2

Ion Agirre-Arisketa

University

Bilbao, Spain: Universidad del Pais Vasco

Department

Environmental Engineering

Biosketch

Ion Agirre-Arisketa holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from 2011. He is a member of SUPREN Group (Sustainable Process Engineering) and has participated in projects in the fields of biorefinery, separation processes or in biomass upgrading to produce syngas. He held a Postdoc position in the University of Leoben (Austria). Since October 2012 he has been an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Faculty of Bilbao.

Project overview

This proposal deals with the green methane generation using CO2 (captured in an industry or purified from biogas) and H2 (produced from water and excess renewable energy). Thus, the energy in excess produced by e.g. wind turbines can be chemically stored as methane. In order to reach this purpose, and get an economically viable process, an innovative methane generation process is required. In the aforementioned process carbon dioxide reacts with hydrogen producing methane and steam. This reaction is highly thermodynamically limited and one of the options to overcome this limitation is the continuous removal of H2O by adsorption. This separation would lead to get higher conversions and moreover, it would avoid or minimize possible side reactions. Thus, the methane generation process would be more efficient. The student will study different zeolites and carbons as adsorbents. These different sorbents will be tested in a fully automatic lab scale pilot plant checking the effect of different process conditions (temperature & pressure) and in TGA analysis with water addition. Simultaneously to the experimental work a more theoretical work can also be performed, based on simulations and programming in Matlab or Aspen Plus together with some basic economic calculations. The work will be done in the SUPREN research group.