BIOLOGICAL PRODUCTION OF METHANOL FROM METHANE

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Energy
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$495,455.00
Award Year:
1989
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
7802
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Engineering Resources
1400 Kings Drive, Fayetteville, AR, 72701
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Dr C W Ko
() -
Business Contact:
STEPHEN S ADAMS
(501) 442-9448
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
SIMPLE AND EFFICIENT TECHNOLOGY FOR THE CONVERSION OF METHANE INTO METHANOL WOULD ALLOW UTILIZATION OF REMOTE OR DILUTE NATURAL GAS, ENHANCE COAL CONVERSION PROCESSES, AND REDUCE THE COST OF A NUMBER OF INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES. SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS IN CATALYTIC CONVERSION PROCESSES ARE NOT LIKELY, AND NOVEL APPROACHES WILL BE REQUIRED TO ADVANCE THIS TECHNOLOGY. CERTAIN MICROORGANISMS, CALLED METHANOTROPHS, CONVERT METHANE INTO METHANOL. THESE UNUSUAL BACTERIA USUALLY METABOLIZE METHANE COMPLETELY TO CO(2), WITH METHANOL AS AN INTRACELLULAR INTERMEDIATE. THEREFORE, METHANOL PRODUCTION REQUIRES MANIPULATION OF THE ORDINARY ENZYMATIC REACTIONS, BY REGULATION OF THE ELECTRON TRANSPORT AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS, IN ORDER TO FAVOR THE METHANE MONOOXYGENASE PATHWAY. TWO ISOLATES HAVE BEEN FOUND TO PRODUCE LOW CONCENTRATIONS OF METHANOL. THIS RESEARCH PROJECT WILL FOCUS ON FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THESE CULTURES TO DEFINE THE FEASIBILITY OF BIOLOGICAL METHANOL PRODUCTION. CONDITIONS TO MAXIMIZE METHANOL YIELD, PRODUCTION RATES, AND CONCENTRATIONS WILL BE EXAMINED. METHANOL TOLERANCE WILL BE DEFINED, AND METHODS TO INCREASE TOLERANCE WILL BE STUDIED. FEASIBILITY OF THIS TECHNOLOGY WILL BE DEMONSTRATED IN CONTINUOUS REACTOR EXPERIMENTS AND THROUGH A PRELIMINARY PROCESS DESIGN AND ECONOMIC EVALUATION.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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