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Atomically Precise Membranes for the Separation of Hydrocarbons

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0017037
Agency Tracking Number: 0000227590
Amount: $154,878.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 15a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001618
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-02-21
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-11-20
Small Business Information
200 Yellow Place
Rockledge, FL 32955-5327
United States
DUNS: 175302579
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Amundsen Ted
 (321) 631-3550
Business Contact
 Rizzo Michael
Phone: (321) 631-3550
Research Institution
 Temple University
 Christian Schafmeister
1901 N. 13th street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

 (215) 240-7128
 Nonprofit College or University

Separations often account for a majority of process costs. This is because all traditional separation processes have inherent weaknesses that prevent the system from achieving perfect (or even near perfect in many instances) selectivity. These weaknesses result in large recycle streams and require multiple separation units in concert in order to produce a product clean enough for use or sale. An atomically-precise membrane capable of allowing passage to only certain molecules would greatly improve process economics. We propose to develop atomically precise, triangular and square pore-containing macromolecules using a unique, stiff, programmable molecular scaffold developed in Prof. Schafmeister’s lab. We will synthesize porous triangular and square macromolecules from our unique, poly-cyclic, shape-programmable and functional group-programmable spiroligomer scaffolds. We will synthesize stiff molecular segments that vary from 1 to 2 nanometers in length and link them end-to-end incorporating three of them together to form triangles and four of them to form squares. We will incorporate these pore containing macromolecules into atomically precise membranes that display the ultimate density of pores and extremely high flux and selectivity. The pores will be of programmable size and shape to selectively allow some molecules and ions to pass through the pores while resisting others. Systems like this could replace fractional distillation in the petroleum industry and myriad purification systems in the chemical processing and pharmaceutical industries with inexpensive, ultra-low-energy consumption, atomically precise membrane systems. In Phase I, sheets of atomically precise cross-linked macromolecules will be synthesized and characterized. In Phase II, we will transition these macromolecular sheets to a robust, scalable membrane capable of selective separations. The commercial applications of these membranes are immense and include pharmaceuticals, hydrocarbons, and the food industry. The public will benefit from lower cost goods as a result of more efficient manufacturing processes. The public will also benefit from the reduced emissions of processes made more efficient by these membranes.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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