Reverse Water Gas Shift Reaction for Synthetic Fuel Production

Farhang Abdollahi, Fatma Handan Tezel, and Stephen Aplin


CO2 sequestration, Synthetic fuel, alternative energy, Renewable energy source


It is anticipated that cheap Carbon dioxide (CO2) will largely be available when carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) programs begin to be implemented in Canadian power generation plants. CO2 can be split into Carbon monoxide (CO) which is a valuable precursor to numerous chemical products by reacting it with hydrogen, including Fischer-Tropsch synthetic hydrocarbon fuels as an alternative energy source. If hydrogen is manufactured by splitting water using low- or zero-carbon energy, then CO manufactured from captured CO2 and water-derived hydrogen via Reverse Water Gas Shift reaction (RWGS) would produce a “low carbon liquid fuel”. The goal of this study is therefore to develop a method for economically converting CO2 into CO via RWGS. Characteristics of RWGS and range of operating conditions have been examined to drive the RWGS reaction toward maximum CO2 conversion to CO by preliminary simulations. Since RWGS is a highly endothermic reaction, separation and recycling of reactants after reactor showed the highest conversion of CO2 to CO in comparison with other suggested methods up to 75% based on feasible separation processes such as membrane, pressure swing adsorption or integrated adsorption membranes.

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