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An Industrial Membrane System Suitable for Distributed Used Oil Re-Refining

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
09 c
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Media and Process Technology Inc.
1155 William Pitt Way Pittsburgh, PA 15238-1368
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: An Industrial Membrane System Suitable for Distributed Used Oil Re-Refining
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-11ER90176
Award Amount: $149,972.00


R & amp;D activities on membrane-based separations have been extensive in the past several decades due to the potential to provide more energy-efficient separation processes than conventional distillation, extraction, absorption, adsorption, etc. Its simplicity, essentially as an advanced filter, offers significant advantage in operation, in particular for applications, which can best be deployed through a distributed network concept, such as distributed hydrogen production promoted by US DOE recently, distributed power generation from locally available feedstocks, etc. However, commercial implementation of membrane processes in this area, though consistent with the rising national energy and environmental concerns, has lagged. Two key barriers are identified: (i) performance or material stability and reliability barriers and (ii) barrier in integrating a new membrane process into an existing process. The above barriers have limited their uses in distributed production applications, which usually deal with variable feedstocks and require operational simplicity and stability due to the lack of highly technically trained operators on-staff. Our proposed industrial membrane process system will attempt to overcome the above barriers with a focus on the use of our commercial inorganic membranes for used oil re-refining through nationwide distributed network of facilities. The performance and materials stability and integration barriers have been overcome by our proposed industrial membrane system. In this proposal we develop an innovative solution to address the remaining barrier, i.e., reliability, which is critical for a membrane system fed with variable sources of feedstock. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: By re-refining waste oils, we project about 65 million barrels per year of savings potential can be achieved, resulting in about 1 to 1.5% reduction in crude imports. Recently, many new green energy sources have been developed as a result of the push by the current and previous administrations; however, the development of a high quality liquid hydrocarbon fuel and/or a replacement for liquid fuels remains a considerable challenge. Thus, any reduction in liquid hydrocarbon usage and imports via this proposed project is significant and complements the national energy technology development trend. Finally, due to the distributed generation of waste oil throughout the country, waste oil re-refining is best implemented through a distributed network of facilities.

Principal Investigator:

Paul Liu

Business Contact:

Paul K. Liu
Small Business Information at Submission:

Media And Process Technology Inc
1155 William Pitt Way Pittsburgh, PA 15238-1368

EIN/Tax ID: 251692849
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No