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Oxygen Separation with Dual Phase Nano-Composite Membrane

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0013186
Agency Tracking Number: 235556
Amount: $1,000,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 14a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001794
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-08-27
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-08-26
Small Business Information
539 Industrial Mile Road
Columbus, OH 43228-2412
United States
DUNS: 050264949
HUBZone Owned: Yes
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Donovan Karnes
 (772) 205-5059
Business Contact
 Sheryl Cantu
Phone: (740) 517-1938
Research Institution

This Phase IIA proposal is in response to the DOE topic 14a request for breakthrough membrane technology that reduces the energy required to separate gases. In this work we are addressing O2 separation. There is a need for lower capital cost, and lower energy consumption in producing high purity oxygen for steel production, chemical processing, medical oxygen, and burning coal for higher efficiency of combustion. The latter will enable less and higher purity CO2 from coal plants, so CO2 can be sequestered more economically. What was done in Phase II Our breakthrough technology is the development of porous inorganic supports with less than 26 nm surface roughness this enables cost-effective deposition of membranes that are only 50-200 nanometer (nm) thick. Present day state-of the-art oxygen membranes are 30-50 micron (μm) thick deposited on micron surface rough extruded inorganic porous supports. We have developed 50-200 nm thick composite membranes that can separate high purity oxygen at temperatures as low as 300-500°C verses state-of-the-art membranes that require operation at 800oC. During the Phase II we optimized our nano membrane on ceramic supports, improved the membrane fabrication process reducing the thickness to <200 nm and improved the yield. We also improved the tubular support quality, quantity, length, and yield, and generated data that shows that the membranes are selectively separating O2 at temperatures as low as 300-500°C. The use of this technology can lead to a minimum of 30% reduction of O2 separation energy costs and a minimum of 30% reduction of capital costs compared to existing commercial technologies.What is planned for the Phase IIA During the Phase IIA we will continue to improve the nm thick membranes and the tubular supports. We will increase the production rate of the tubular supports, along with synthesis of membrane precursor dispersions in larger volumes. We will build a multi-tubular oxygen module and perform long term testing on the modules. We will also work on modular designs to scale the membrane process for two market areas, 1-10 ton/day capacity and 100-500 ton/day capacity.Commercial applications Nano ceramic membranes for oxygen separation can separate oxygen at lower cost with higher purity than other technologies. The oxygen can be used for steel making, more efficient burning of coal, medical oxygen, and other industrial chemical applications.

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

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