MT. PROSPECT, Ill. , May 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Prime Plasma, Inc. announced that it has applied for a US patent for a reduced energy DC plasma process that converts any aliphatic hydrocarbon such as methane or renewable natural gas into pure hydrogen and electroconductive carbon black (ECB). This invention decreases the power requirement of the plasma reactor by more than 20%.

Prime Plasma, hydrogen, electroconductive carbon black (ECB), significantly less energy compared to electrolysis.

In this context, Bio Friends, Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of dimethyl ether (eDME), stated that it intends to use Prime Plasma’s technology to make small-scale hydrogen plants to supply refilling stations for fuel cell electric vehicles in Korea. Projected 2040 requirements: 1,200 refilling stations for 6.2 million fuel cell vehicles. Demand for ECB in Korea and Japan is also expected to increase sharply to meet the emerging requirements of the lithium-ion and specialty electrical conductor industries.

An engineering study conducted by Prime Plasma for Bio Friends indicates that its basic design to make 7 tons/day of 99.99% pure hydrogen and 21.2 tons/day of ECB requires 28.8 tons/day of methane and 5 MW of electric power – grid, solar or wind. The prevailing price of ECB in Korea is $2,000$3,000 per ton.

“After introducing our technology in Korea, we intend to pursue similar applications in California and neighboring states, especially in areas where plentiful sunshine can provide a cost-effective source of solar power,” says Serge Randhava, Vice President of Prime Plasma.

Bio Friends selected the Prime Plasma DC process after carefully evaluating two other options, namely electrolysis and steam methane reforming (SMR). “Electrolysis has failed to achieve commercial traction, and its capital and operating costs just don’t seem to make economic sense,” explains Dr. Wonjun Cho, CEO of Bio Friends. “And with SMR, you have to bear the expense of carbon capture and storage, plus deal with the problem of the burner flue gas. Furthermore, neither of these two methods yields a high value coproduct like ECB.”

Thermodynamically, disengaging hydrogen from methane by plasma requires only about 25% of the energy versus releasing hydrogen from water. “Our Prime Plasma DC technology emits zero carbon dioxide, consumes less power than the 3-phase AC version, and the extremely high temperature and absence of sputtering in the plasma zone yield a higher quality of carbon black,” notes Randhava.


Serge Randhava


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SOURCE Prime Plasma, Inc.

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