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Method and apparatus for membrane-based two-stage hydrogen gas production from solid biomaterials

Background: Two-stage gas technology is a method of producing hydrogen gas or other gases such as methane from two distinct processes. The two stages that make up the technology are a leach-bed reactor and a photo-fermentation process. Each stage produces gas that is separated from other gases using a selective membrane. Two-stage gas technology has the potential to compete with alternative methods of hydrogen or methane production that are energy intensive and rely on electrolysis and steam reformation of natural gas for hydrogen production. Technology Description: The method and apparatus for membrane-based two-stage gas production from solid biomaterials is a device that will turn manure into hydrogen. The device is a combination of two methods of decomposing the manure with the first being an anaerobic digester and the second a suspended-growth reactor. Previous iterations of similar systems have used one of the two processes but the combination of the two processes in conjunction is something unique to this technology. The apparatus also has a gas-specific membrane made out of a ruthenium-nickel composite which separates the hydrogen from other gases that are produced. Applications: The technology can be used for production of hydrogen or methane from excessive amounts of bio-waste and manure. Engineering companies that are focused on designing and constructing energy efficient plants can benefit from the described technologies as the manufacturing facilities could gain capabilities of turning the waste material into the hydrogen-driven energy. Patent Status: US8093041B1

Benefits:

1) A method of hydrogen or methane generation that is not dependent on finite resources and does not require large amounts of energy in the production process. 2) Uses previously validated methods in a unique combination that results in greater output than by use of only one of the validated production methods. 3) Provides a method of a reduced carbon footprint resulting from the indicated production methods.

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