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Quantitative In-Situ TEM Nanotribology Tester

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2007 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
9625 West 76th Street Eden Prairie, MN 55344-3765
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2007
Title: Quantitative In-Situ TEM Nanotribology Tester
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-07ER84812
Award Amount: $100,000.00


Instead of being sent to flare which contributes to energy loses and greenhouse gas emissions, many refinery off-gases could be converted into valuable chemicals such as hydrogen. However, the refinery off-gases contain large concentrations of sulfur that must be removed to prevent the poisoning of the nickel-based steam reforming catalyst used in hydrogen production. Traditionally, deep desulfurization can be achieved by a two-step process consisting of hydrodesulfurization (HDS) and subsequent removal of H2S with an expendable chemical absorbent. Although this approach has long been used for natural gas feedstocks (where the sulfur level does not exceed 5-10 ppmv), the one-time use of expendable metal oxide sorbents for processing the refinery off-gases is not practical due to the increased sorbent replacement cost caused by the necessity of coping with the increased quantities of sulfur. TDA Research, Inc. (TDA) proposes to develop a regenerable physical adsorbent to desulfurize of refinery off-gases. The sorbent operates at near ambient temperatures (20-60oC) while reducing the sulfur content of the gas stream to less than ppmv levels (and can reduce the sulfur content to ppb levels if needed) to protect the catalyst used in the downstream conversion process. The sorbent can be regenerated by applying a mild temperature swing. Because TDA¿s sorbent can effectively remove not only H2S but organic sulfur compounds as well of these streams, it eliminates the need for very expensive HDS. Commercial applications and other benefits as described by the awardee: The proposed sorbent technology will provide U.S. refiners with a cost-effective way to remove sulfur from refinery off-gases. The sorbent can also be applied to desulfurize any light hydrocarbon stream that is used as a feedstock for catalytic chemical conversion or as a feed for a fuel cell.

Principal Investigator:

Oden L. Warren

Business Contact:

Thomas J. Wyrobek
Small Business Information at Submission:

Hysitron, Inc.
10025 Valley View Road Minneapolis, MN 55344

EIN/Tax ID: 411764565
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No