The new University of Maryland (UMD) and Maryland Energy Innovation Institute (MEI2) start-up company Alchemity is pleased to announce its selection by Shell GameChanger, an accelerator program for start-ups and businesses with promising early-stage technology ideas that have the potential to impact the future of energy. Alchemity is developing technologies and applications in the energy industry using ion-conducting ceramics, from electric Power through advanced solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) to Fuels & Chemicals through integrated catalytic membrane reactors.
Alchemity was selected by Shell GameChanger as one of the winners of the Chemicals Decarbonization Challenge 2021, to receive development funding over a two-year period to demonstrate a single-step catalytic membrane reactor. Alchemity’s technology will convert stranded natural gas that might otherwise be flared or vented, a major contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, to value-added chemical products. By turning a waste gas source into a liquid commodity chemical, this technology can bring a valuable contribution to reducing the emissions of industrial operations. The integrated design provides a potential step change reduction in capital cost by combining catalysis and separation in a single unit, which also increases overall system energy efficiency and drastically reduces carbon emissions.
Dr. Eric Wachsman, Founder of Alchemity and MEI2 Director and UMD Distinguished University Professor, has been developing this innovative technology for over 30 years and has garnered over $21M in sponsored research to advance Alchemity’s technology to its current state. Says Wachsman, “This membrane reactor technology is a platform to improve the efficiency and reduce the cost and GHG emissions for numerous industrially important chemical reactions. I’m excited to receive Shell’s support of the modular gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology which is so important to combat climate change, but I see this as only the start as we expand the applications of this technology to produce hydrogen for transportation and ammonia for fertilizer with reduced GHG emissions, as well as carbon utilization to further reduce CO2 emissions from existing power plants and chemical processes.”
“We are excited to collaborate with Alchemity to prove and scale-up their integrated catalytic membrane reactor as it is a promising technology to valorize stranded gas and biogas while reducing the methane emissions intensity of industrial processes. De-risking such technology is part of our innovation approach that supports Shell’s strategy to accelerate the transition of our business to net-zero emissions.” said Sally Chow, Commercial Innovation Partnership Manager, Shell GameChanger.
For the first time ever, scientists at the University of Maryland (UMD) have converted methane (CH4) into value added commodity chemicals such as ethylene and benzene with no greenhouse gas (GHG) production, a tremendous opportunity for both the chemical and natural gas industries.
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