Alumni Seminars - Damian Beauchamp & Tim Barckholtz

October 24, 2018
Friday, November 16, 2018 - 4:30pm
CBEC 130
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Tim Barckholtz - ExxonMobil Research and Engineering

Tim Barckholtz


Tim holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from The Ohio State University.  Following a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology / University of Colorado, Tim joined ExxonMobil Research and Engineering (EMRE) in 2001, initially working in advanced combustion technology in Corporate Strategic Research (CSR).  In 2004, Tim was promoted to Section Head of the Engineering & Process Chemistry section.  In 2005, he was part of a team that commercialized a process to reduce NOx emissions from fluidized catalytic crackers.  He relocated to the company's Fairfax, VA office in 2006, where he initially served as the Planning Advisor to EMRE's President.  While in Fairfax, he transferred to ExxonMobil Refining & Supply, where he coordinated the crude purchasing and supply chain logistics for the company's refineries in Texas and Louisiana, which have a combined capacity of 1.6 million barrels per day.  In 2009, he returned to the Clinton, NJ, site, as Petroleum Sciences Laboratory Director, CSR, in charge of early stage research for the refining sector.  In 2011, Tim became Manager, Corporate Programs Portfolio, CSR, overseeing a diverse set of programs in environmental, energy efficiency, and emerging energy science.  He is currently the research manager for the company’s efforts in CO2 capture, utilization, and storage.

CO2 Capture from Natural Gas Combined Cycle Power Generation Using Carbonate Fuel Cells

Power generation facilities account for a large share of global CO2 emissions and are also some of the largest point sources, with a typical facility emitting several million tons annually. Thus, they are an obvious target for CO2 capture. Carbon capture from coal-fired power generation has been the subject of considerable research and several world-scale projects, while capture from natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power generation has been much less investigated, despite NGCC generation having approximately half of the CO2 emissions than coal power generation. In this talk, I will describe how carbonate fuel cells can be used for CO2 capture from NGCC facilities without a significant energy debit. The exhaust from the NGCC system is taken as the inlet to the cathode of the fuel cell, with additional natural gas and steam fed to the anode. Within the fuel cell, the natural gas is reformed to hydrogen in the anode, while the CO2 is combined with oxygen and electrons from the power circuit to make the carbonate ion. The carbonate ion is then transferred through the membrane of the fuel cell to the anode, where the ions react with hydrogen to produce CO2 and H2O, and high potential electrons for the power circuit. In this process, additional power is created by the fuel cells, keeping the total efficiency of the system at or near the efficiency of the NGCC system without CO2 capture.                                               

This presentation will summarize the current status of this technology. We have obtained substantial proof-of-principle data at the benchtop scale, using single cells of about 50 – 100 W power each. We also have obtained data using a 30 kW fuel cell stack, which is nearly full size in length and width, just limited in height and number of cells. All of this data indicates the technology is feasible and promising.

Damian Beauchamp - 8 Rivers, LLC and NET Power, LLC

Damian Beauchamp


Damian Beauchamp is Chief of Staff and Principal Chemist at 8 Rivers, LLC. Where he focuses on new technology development and commercialization. Additionally, for NET Power, LLC, Damian serves as the Head of Marketing, Head of Eastern Europe and Middle East, and Lead for CO₂ Utilization.
In May 2016, Damian earned his MS in Chemistry from The Ohio State University. The focus of his research was based on the conversion and storage of solar energy through dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical cells, solar batteries, catalyst development and photocatalytic H₂ production. The publications Damian co-authored while a PhD candidate at OSU were featured separately in stories by both Nature and C&E News. Leadership, service, and student safety were also a high priority for Damian during his graduate student career exemplified through his co-founding the OSU Joint Safety Team (JST), serving as a Spark Clean Energy Fellow, and volunteering at COSI Chemistry Day. While at OSU Damian’s entrepreneurial spirit also flourished evidenced by his co-founding of both Kair Battery and CAScan.
After graduating from OSU Damian received the Outstanding New Professional Award from the Kent State University Alumni Association, his undergraduate alma mater, in September of 2016.
In 2015, he received the SciFinder Future Leaders in Chemistry Award from Chemical Abstract Services, was named as one of Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 and Midwest Energy News’ 40 Under 40, was featured in Fortune magazine’s Cool Companies, delivered a TED Talk at TEDxOSU, and won the Ivey Business Plan Competition.
In 2014, he won both the OSU Business Plan Competition and US DOE Clean Energy Business Prize from the Rice University Business Plan Competition, was named as Student Entrepreneur of the year by VentureNEXT, and received honorable mention from the National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate student fellowship committee.
In 2012, Damian graduated magna cum laude from Kent State University with a BS in Chemistry. While an undergraduate he received the National Smart Grant, NSF S.T.E.M. Fellowship, Choose Ohio First Scholarship, and the Undergraduate Excellence in Chemistry Award.

Fossil Power, Guilt Free

Any resource improperly managed will become an issue. CO₂ is no different. CO₂ is not inherently bad. Traditionally, obtaining CO₂ in highly pure form has been expensive, which has limited its industrial applications. But what happens when clean CO₂ becomes cheap, or even free? Could CO₂ be used for curing concrete, treating waste water, producing methanol, converting ethane to ethylene, making polymers, and yielding other value added chemicals?

Traditional carbon capture from fossil-fired facilities require increased cost and reduced efficiencies. NET Power is based on the Allam Cycle, which changed these facts by designing an entirely new power generation technology. The Allam Cycle was invented by 8 Rivers Capital, LLC, an industrial-scale sustainable technology development and commercialization firm based in Durham, NC. The Allam Cycle is a highly-recuperated, oxy-fired, semi-closed supercritical CO₂ Brayton cycle that offers significant advantages over traditional power cycles, including high efficiencies, low capital costs, low or no water consumption, and elimination of all air emissions, including CO₂ through its inherent capture. The natural gas cycle, under commercialization by NET Power, was first presented in public form in 2012 as a novel cycle under development.  Progress on the overall cycle design has progressed rapidly. Since then, with $160 million dollars in investment from Exelon and McDermott, a 50 MWth plant has been constructed in La Porte, TX, which has proven the cycle works and is currently undergoing operational testing. The CO₂ in the NET Power Cycle is generated as a result of oxy-combustion and is used as the working fluid of the system, and is thereby inherently captured at industrially useful purity and pressure. Tangentially, 8 Rivers has pursued work inspired by the aspirations of the Allam Cycle – creating new cycle designs, new CO₂ uses, concepts in clean sour gas combustion, and the clean production of chemical and industrial commodities such as hydrogen, ethylene, methanol, and urea.