BioSER : Sustainable Hydrogen Production from Biogas using Sorption-Enhanced Reforming (2012-2015)

The main objective of the present program is to further develop and improve the SER technology using biogas as fuel and with emphasis on the critical technological challenges towards future up-scaling and commercialization.

Meyer, Julien

Senior Scientist, Specialist Group Manager / Material and Process Technology


Project duration: 01.09.2012 – 31.08.2015
Budget: 9.2 MNOK
Funding by: Research Council of Norway, ZEG Power AS
Project leader: IFE
Partners: Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), ZEG Power AS

The program will utilize the unique facilities and equipment as well as scientific results obtained from the Dual Bubbling Fluidized Bed (DBFB) SER R&D-unit at the HyNor Lillestrøm node, where hydrogen will be produced from upgraded landfill gas (biogas). 
Read more about this project here (pdf).

The program will also include an advanced and extended modelling activity which will focus on the multi-scale modelling of the SER process using a two-particle system and a one-particle system including a combined sorbent/catalyst material.

The program has the following sub-objectives:

  • Operate and test the DBFB reactor system of the SER unit on long term periods to prove its reliability and its operation ability towards biogas.
  • Use of operating data to optimise the high temperature solid circulation loop of the DBFB reactor system and to give inputs for model validation with a two-particle system.
  • Study and test the main attrition phenomena in the DBFB reactor system to obtain qualitative and quantitative information concerning the loss of solids in the system.
  • Develop a thermal pre-treatment method to improve the mechanical properties of the CO2 sorbent used in the DBFB reactor system.
    • Develop kinetics models for both particle systems to be used in the SER process.
    • Develop particle models to study the effects of changes in porosity and pore size in the SER process.
    • Develop fluidized bed reactor models of different complexity for detailed 3D simulation of the SER process performance in different reactor unit designs. These models will be based on the two-fluid modelling framework with a granular theory closure for the particle stresses.
    • Develop simpler 1D models for simulation of the whole circulating reactor system, considering the interactions between the reformer and regenerator reactors.

The program will significantly improve the knowledge required to optimize the process and design core technology elements of the SER process, i.e. reactor design and solid properties. Specifically, the project will deliver:

  • Operating data of the DBFB SER unit.
  • Documented performances of the high temperature CO2-sorbent and reforming catalyst for the SER process.
  • Documented and tested pre-treatment method to improve the mechanical properties of the CO2 sorbent used in the DBFB SER unit.
  • Kinetics models for the two-particle system and the one-particle system as well as particle models and simulation programs.
  • Two- and three-fluid models for detailed simulations of the fluidized bed behaviour.
  • Models combining multi-fluid model (Eulerian model) and Population Balance Equations (PBE) for simulations.
  • Models for the SER process for the whole circulating fluidized bed for both particle systems.
  • Validated model for particle size and weight distribution as well as particle segregation in fluidized bed reactor system for SER.

The project will provide valuable experimental data at small pilot level and advanced fluidized bed reactor models that represent extremely important knowledge enabling reliable process evaluation of SER for hydrogen production and in power generation, and future design of medium to large scale SER demonstration plants.

The program will in addition to sustainable hydrogen production from biogas also promote more widespread use of the developed technology in innovative CO2 capture systems. The program should be seen as an integrated part of a total effort with an overall objective to develop energy technology depicting improved energy efficiencies and near to zero CO2-emissions.