Transforming Fossil Fuels into Heat or Hydrogen

Greenhouse gases, in particular CO2 are the main cause of climate change. This project was motivated by finding an alternative way of using natural gas to produce heat for industrial facilities with reduced CO2 production. The main purpose of this project was to investigate pyrolysis of natural gas with a medium-scale set-up (8 kw). Natural gas can be decomposed into hydrogen and carbon black at high temperatures.


Hydrogen can be used as a clean fuel and carbon black is a valuable raw material for many industries such as tire, rubber, ink and pigments.


Two natural gas thermal decomposition systems will be investigated in order to transform fossil fuels into either heat or hydrogen:


1) Gas-phase pyrolysis, where the heat for pyrolysis is provided by burning natural gas and the pyrolysis occurs via heat transfer from the gas-phase products of combustion.


2) Molten-metal pyrolysis where natural gas is bubbled through molten metal which could be heated from a variety of heat sources (e.g., solar).

An optimized reaction mechanism for methane pyrolysis

Jason Scott Olfert, Marc Secanell, Larry William Kostiuk, Ambuj Punia

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Analysis of the products and kinetic rates of methane thermal decomposition. Part II: Numerical models

Jason Scott Olfert, Marc Secanell, Larry William Kostiuk, Ambuj Punia, James Kole William Tatum

Conference Proceedings

Analysis of the products and kinetic rates of methane thermaldecomposition. Part I: Experimental apparatus

Jason Scott Olfert, Marc Secanell, Larry William Kostiuk, Ambuj Punia, James Kole William Tatum

Conference Proceedings

Experimental Investigation of Carbon Black Properties Produced by the Thermal Decomposition of Methane in the Products of Premixed Flames

Mohammad Afroughi

Master Thesis

Experimental Investigation of Methane Pyrolysis in a Constant Volume Batch Reactor at High Temperatures and Pressures

James Kole William Tatum

Master Thesis

Experimental and numerical analysis of a methane thermal decomposition reactor

Marc Secanell, Larry William Kostiuk

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Experimental study of methane decarbonization to produce hydrogen using a laminar premixed flame

Farjad Falahati

Master Thesis

Hydrogen research heats up

Jason Scott Olfert

Interview (Broadcast or Text)

Kinetics of methane pyrolysis: An optimized mechanism

Jason Scott Olfert, Marc Secanell, Larry William Kostiuk, Ambuj Punia, James Kole William Tatum

Conference Proceedings

Nanoparticle Emission Characteristics during Methane Pyrolysis in a Laminar Premixed Flame

Jason Scott Olfert, Larry William Kostiuk, Mohammad Afroughi, Farjad Falahati

Conference/Symposium/Workshop Contribution

New hydrogen production method

Jason Scott Olfert

Interview (Broadcast or Text)

New research exploring more environmentally friendly ways to extract hydrogen,

Jason Scott Olfert

Interview (Broadcast or Text)

Preliminary experimental study of methane decarbonization using a laminar premixed flame

Jason Scott Olfert, Larry William Kostiuk, Mohammad Afroughi, Farjad Falahati

Conference Proceedings

Properties of carbon black produced by the thermal decomposition of methane in the products of premixed flames

Jason Scott Olfert, Larry William Kostiuk, Mohammad Afroughi, Farjad Falahati

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Properties of carbon particles generated by methane decarbonization in oxygen deficient gas streams

Jason Scott Olfert, Larry William Kostiuk, Mohammad Afroughi, Farjad Falahati

Conference Proceedings

U of A researchers at forefront of the province's hydrogen future

Jason Scott Olfert

Interview (Broadcast or Text)