Welcome to the European Project Unique
As a result of numerous European projects (started from the JOR3-CT97-0196 EC-project), the UNIQUE project, 7FP-ENERGY-2007-211517, has demonstrated the feasibility of the fluidized bed gasifier to produce a clean syngas similar to that obtained by steam methane reforming for FC applications. The UNIQUE project aimed at a compact version of a gasifier by integrating the fluidized bed steam gasification of biomass and the hot gas cleaning and conditioning system into one reactor vessel. This was obtained by placing a bundle of catalytic ceramic candles that operate at a temperature as high as the gasification temperature (800-850C) in the gasifier freeboard; using a catalytically active mineral substance for primary tar reforming and by optimising the addition of sorbents into the bed for removal of detrimental trace elements. UNIQUE demonstrated the feasibility of an innovative technology for the production of clean syngas rich in hydrogen and with the specifications required for use in HT-FC in a cost-effective way. The activity of catalysts and sorbents was increased, while keeping the thermal efficiency of the whole conversion process high since no cooling step was included. It also avoided particle entrainment in the producer gas at the reactor outlet. As a result, some major advantages of traditional primary and secondary hot gas treatments have been combined, without their respective well known drawbacks (catalyst clogging by solid particles, and loss of gas chemical and thermal energy). The UNIQUE integrated system has been tested at laboratory scale and at industrial scale. Particularly in Italy the system was integrated in a 1 MWth fluidized bed steam/oxygen gasifier (ENEA), and a compact small scale (100 kWth) fluidized bed gasifier (CIRPS Hydrogen Centre Laboratory) was also developed to test, at pilot scale, the UNIQUE technology in the alternative case of an indirectly heated configuration. This arrangement demonstrates high conversion of tar, elimination of trace elements and efficient abatement of particulates, delivering high purity syngas. Further purification steps (as those envisaged in this proposal) allow utilizing such a syngas to obtain a hydrogen feedstock that could even meet the LT-FC requirements (CO < 100 ppm, heavy hydrocarbons and sulphur compounds < 1 ppm and no particulates). In order to completely meet the LT-FC requirements (especially for PEM applications) additional conditioning of the hydrogen stream would be required. Nowadays, the technologies for hydrogen purification from steam methane reforming (WGS, PSA) have reached a high level of maturity. As previously stated, the gas obtained from UNIQUE is qualitatively similar to that obtained from steam methane reforming, thus the coupling of the purification technologies with the UNIQUE prototype would be a natural and obvious evolution of the system. The scope of work will comprise development and scale up activities on materials and reactors design. In general the project will benefit from already existing laboratories and UNIQUE gasifiers that will be coupled with advanced purification technologies for the continuous production of hydrogen in order to maximize results (technology development at process-, system- and industrial-scale) with minimum risk and budget requirement (laboratories, pilot and industrial gasifier already available). In fact, the process feasibility will be demonstrated using CIRPS (L'Aquila and Sapienza) and ENEA laboratories; the system feasibility will be demonstrated using a compact small scale (100 kWth) fluidized bed indirectly heated gasifier; finally the industrial feasibility will be demonstrated using a 1000 kWth fluidized bed steam/oxygen gasifier. The result will be the development of the UNIfHY gasification technology for the continuous production of hydrogen at pre-commercial scale (up to 500 kg/day). Such result will be achieved by means of the mentioned 100 and 1000 kWth steam biomass gasifiers withcatalytic candles inserted (UNIQUE) in the reactor freeboard, operated according to, UNIfHY 100 and UNIfHY 1000 respective flowsheets schematically illustrated in the Figures below:

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Marconi University

UNIfHY Final meeting in December 2015
Marconi University

Marconi University


Marconi University becomes the new coordinating organization
Marconi University

First project technical progress meeting in Strasbourg

UNIfHY Kick Off Meeting Minute