PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe goal of this project is to create compressed natural gas (CNG) from methane. This process is intended to serve as an environmentally friendly supplement to other sources of natural gas, such as the natural gas found alongside fossil fuels. Algae are to be converted into natural gas in supercritical water at an algae mass percent of 2.5%. The reactor uses a ruthenium catalyst on a carbon structure. The process is environmentally friendly because the carbon dioxide produced in the reactor and the furnace is recycled back to algae farms, thereby significantly reducing the net carbon dioxide emissions. Also, the salts that are removed from the algae are recycled to the algae farms thereby eliminating any potentially toxic byproducts. A process hazard analysis was completed to reduce any potential safety concerns involved with the process. An economic analysis was performed and the process was determined to not be economically viable at the current time. However, improved catalyst and process equipment technologies could lead to the process becoming profitable in the future. Future work for the process involves pilot scale testing of the reactor and the gravitational salt separator to test their feasibility on an industrial scale.
Degree ProgramHonors College