An assessment of carbon sources for the production of synthetic fuels from nuclear hydrogen
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering.
Mujid S. Kazimi.
MetadataShow full item record
In the transportation sector, the current dependence on petroleum to satisfy large transportation fuel demand in the US is unsustainable. Oil resources are finite, and causing heavy US reliance on oil imports. Therefore, the development of alternative transportation fuels that do not depend on oil is becoming increasingly necessary. Our research investigates the feasibility of producing gasoline synthetically from nuclear hydrogen and two carbon sources: carbon dioxide emissions and municipal solid waste. These synthetic fuels have the potential to satisfy the large demand for gasoline, while reducing CO2 emissions. The nuclear hydrogen is produced through High Temperature Steam Electrolysis (HTSE), with heat and electricity provided by a supercritical CO2 cooled gas fast reactor. Through this study, we determine the suitable components for gasoline production from CO2 emissions and MSW. The feasibility of these methods of gasoline production was assessed by performing material and energy balances for the involved processes, determining preliminary cost estimates, and evaluating production scale and environmental impact. The material balances were compatible with our gasoline production scheme. By-product oxygen from the HTSE was especially beneficial for both production schemes, leading to various efficiency improvements. Water that is generated in the production processes can also displace a portion of water input for HTSE. By matching HTSE H2 output with H2 requirement of each production scheme, gasoline can be produced on a large scale. Gasoline output from MSW and coal plant CO2 emissions was about 1 million gallons/day and 550,000 gallons/day, respectively.(cont.) These gasoline outputs are similar to SASOL Fischer-Tropsch plant in South Africa and the New Zealand methanol-to-gasoline plant. The base price of our synthetic gasoline was $4.35/gallon and $4.04/gallon for gasoline produced from CO2 and MSW, respectively. These costs will not be competitive with current US oil prices, but has high potential to compete with unconventional oil sources if oil prices rise significantly in the future. Carbon dioxide emissions can be significantly reduced with both production schemes, with MSW producing zero net emissions.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering, 2007."June 2007."Includes bibliographical references (leaf 44).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nuclear Science and Engineering.