Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC (Idaho Falls, ID) scientists have developed a method for rendering a contaminated biomass inert and produce useful amount of hydrogen. The process involves reacting a first composition comprising an alkaline metal and a second composition to produce an alkaline hydroxide; reacting the alkaline hydroxide with a contaminated biomass to render the contaminated biomass inert and produce hydrogen gas and a byproduct that includes the first alkaline metal composition. The method is detailed in U.S. Patent 7,665,328.
While the advantages of using a fuel such as hydrogen to replace fossil fuel as a primary energy source are many, no single approach has emerged that will provide a convenient means whereby hydrogen can be economically produced in a form, whether gaseous, or liquefied, which makes it useful in energy applications. Moreover, there remains no one convenient method that could be used to render a large amount of contaminated biomass inert.
According to inventors Dennis N. Bingham, Kerry M. Klingler and Bruce M. Wilding, a series of reaction chambers renders contaminated biomass inert by reacting alkaline hydroxide with the contaminated biomass which also produces useful amounts of hydrogen gas, and a byproduct that includes an alkaline metal composition. The syngas is combusted to generate heat energy that facilitates, at least in part, the chemical reaction of the alkaline hydroxide with the biomass to be destroyed.
FIG. 2 is a greatly simplified schematic drawing illustrating an arrangement for rendering a contaminated biomass inert and for producing useful amounts of hydrogen.