Chemical Engineering Interviews Transform Materials CEO

  • Home
  • Media
  • Chemical Engineering Interviews Transform Materials CEO

In this feature story, associate editor Mary Page Bailey chats with Dr. David Soane about the company’s launch and technology roadmap.

A Microwave-Plasma Process that Efficiently Makes Hydrogen and Acetylene
By Mary Page Bailey | 

A new modular process based on microwave-plasma reactors aims to efficiently convert natural gas into acetylene and H2 without combustion or CO2 formation. Transform Materials LLC (Riviera Beach, Fla.; has designed a reactor that overcomes some of the previous limitations of microwave-plasma-based methane processing, such as low single-pass conversion and low selectivity. “Our technology is singularly high in both conversion and selectivity. In addition, our process consumes approximately an order of magnitude less energy to process a fixed amount of methane,” explains David Soane, Transform Materials CEO.

Furthermore, the high single-pass conversion rates allow for a more compact reactor and overall simpler operations. “High-selectivity transformation into the desired coproducts of acetylene and hydrogen means that the requisite downstream separation process is straightforward,” says Soane. He adds that the company has also made significant breakthroughs in removing minor amounts of byproduct impurities from the reactor effluent. “Our compact system favors distributed manufacturing. Future commercial plants can be installed where the natural gas feed exists and where there is local demand for the products,” he continues.

The company has operated a fully integrated dual-reactor pilot plant with two 30-kW reactors, as well as a single-reactor 100-kW front-end demonstration system. Soane expects that future commercial installations will see multiplexing of 100-kW reactors coupled with appropriately sized back-end separation and purification units. The technology’s modular nature means that plant capacity can be incrementally increased as demand rises.

Transform Materials recently signed a technology-license agreement with Royal DSM N.V. (Heerlen, the Netherlands; that will enable DSM’s Nutritional Products business to use biogas feedstock to make key ingredients. Transform Materials is also in talks with chemical manufacturers and other potential industry partners for further commercialization of its technology.

Courtesy of Chemical Engineering

Original published content can be found here.

Share This
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on google

Emerging technologies require investment to reach the market at competitive prices. Breakthrough Energy Catalyst will fund large clean tech projects in four areas to lower the Green Premium for clean solutions.
More in @FT:

Did you know that hydrogen, when consumed to generate power in a fuel cell or power plant combines with the oxygen in the atmosphere and yields only water. Thus it is a “clean” fuel that does not produce any greenhouse gases. #hydrogen #funfacts #cleanpower #cleantech

According to a new report, 50% of respondents to a study believe that #hydrogen will emerge as an alternative to gas generation by 2030 in Asia.