Innovative Hydrogen Production from Hydrocarbon Gas

Request Number REQ8339163
Due Date April 6, 2017
Author Seh-Rin Sung
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Innovative Hydrogen Production from Hydrocarbon Gas
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a major automobile-related manufacturer, seeks an innovative technology to produce hydrogen from hydrocarbon gas.


A major automotive-related manufacturer, a client of NineSigma, has been engaged in development of a system to produce hydrogen from hydrocarbon gas.


The conventional steam reforming method, which is in the client’s current use, requires high temperature (600°C - 1000°C) and high-purity water, which has hindered energy efficiency improvement and cost reduction of the system. Additionally, a sulfur odorant contained in the processed gas undesirably leads to the catalyst deterioration.


Growing interest in hydrogen energy has led to more R&D activities for hydrogen production technologies in recent years. Therefore, the client has issued this open request to further accelerate the development in collaboration with potential partners.


Proposals for a process technology that overcomes the disadvantages of the existing steam reforming method, as well as a technology using a sulfur-resistant and/or anticoking catalyst that contributes to longer system life, are widely welcome.


Key Success Criteria

Hydrocarbon gas to be processed

  • Components: methane, ethane, propane, butane, etc.
    • Others: sulfide (C4H10S, etc.), which is mixed as an odorant

Final requirements of the process and material to be achieved

(1) Hydrogen production process requiring low energy consumption: Technologies that require low temperature and input energy for the process, i.e., those to potentially satisfy either of the followings:

  • Operates at low temperature (600°C or lower, or preferably room temperature)
  • Not require external heating (i.e. exothermic reaction)

(2) Hydrogen production process with less restriction for water use: Technologies that can lead to a simpler system, i.e., those to potentially satisfy either of the followings:

  • Operates with low-purity water
  • Operates with small amount of water

(3) Long life catalyst material: Materials should have at least one of the following properties:

  • Resistance to sulfur
  • Resistance to coking

Besides (1), (2) or (3), innovative technologies that potentially lead to system downsizing and cost reduction are welcome.


Possible Approaches

Anticipated approaches include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Process technology
    • Low energy consumption
      • Partial oxidation
      • Direct oxidation
      • Autothermal reforming
      • Improvement on the existing steam reforming method
    • Using a hydrogen or oxygen permeable membrane
    • Biological method by bacteria, etc.
  • Catalyst technology
    • Improving resistance to sulfur poisoning by combining active metals
    • Improving coking resistance with porous structure



Preferred Collaboration types
Items to be submitted

Responses will use the Proposal Template which is linked to the “attachments” shown at the bottom of the link (REQ8339163) and include the following items:

  • Overview of the proposed technology (outline, characteristics, and principle)
  • Uniqueness of the technology
  • Development stage
  • Current performance
    • Proposal for process
      • Type of hydrocarbon gas to be processed
      • Temperature and energy consumption
      • Water amount and its purity
      • Other requirements for reaction (i.e. substance, circumstance)
      • Production rate
    • Proposal for catalyst
      • Details of material
      • Life expectancy
      • Evaluation results of each property (if any)
        • Resistance to sulfur
        • Resistance to coking
  • Current issues and development plans
  • Past achievements, i.e. additional information, such as research papers and academic presentations
  • Organization overview

The client will review submitted proposals and possibly ask clarifying questions before selecting the most suitable candidate(s) for collaboration.
The client will select the best candidate(s) through evaluations. During the selection process, the client may execute non-disclosure agreement(s) (NDA) with selected respondent(s), seek further information disclosure, and discuss specific development targets or potential opportunities. The client will execute necessary agreement(s) with the selected respondent(s) and move to the project execution phase.


Specifics of any collaboration will be determined through consultation with the concerned parties.


Area of Interest
Request Priority