A Gilbert-based company developing alternative energy technologies said Monday it has demonstrated a coal-to-hydrogen process on a laboratory scale, setting the stage for a larger pilotplant development.
Diversified Energy Corp., 2020 W. Guadalupe Road, believes the process could have an important impact on the nation’s energy because it uses coal, which is abundant in the United States.
The company said the test demonstrated efficient hydrogen production and validated the basic science behind the system, which the company calls Hydro-Max.
The process uses a high-temperature pressure chamber to turn coal into carbon monoxide synthetic gas, which with further processing can be turned into transportation fuels, and hydrogen, which can be used to produce electricity in fuel cells or in refineries to process petroleum.
In addition to a carbon source, the process uses water and an iron/tin alloy. And instead of coal, it can use other hydrocarbon feedstocks such as biomass and petroleum coke, a byproduct of oil refining.
The tests were performed in a test reactor provided by the Pittsburgh Mineral and