Metal-Organic Frameworks for the Separation of O2 from Air

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0019557
Agency Tracking Number: 242257
Amount: $148,338.80
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 23b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001940
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-02-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-01-18
Small Business Information
8025 Lamon Ave, Skokie, IL, 60077-5315
DUNS: 078657190
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mitchell Weston
 (847) 929-4186
Business Contact
 Mitchell Weston
Phone: (847) 929-4186
Research Institution
Under this Phase I SBIR DOE grant, NuMat will validate and evaluate the feasibility of air separation technology originally developed at Sandia National Laboratories. This promising technology employs oxygen selective metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Given their oxygen selectivity, this technology will enable more energy efficient air separation, higher oxygen recovery rates, with a smaller overall footprint. These improvements are due to the operating differences between traditional existing pressure swing adsorption (PSA) air separation units and novel Sandia Laboratory MOF-enabled PSA units. Existing PSAs capture nitrogen (~80 vol% of air) while oxygen selective MOF-based PSAs capture oxygen (~20 vol% of air) thus improving oxygen recoveries and energy efficiencies. As reported in Chem. Mater. 2016, 28, 3327-3336, Sandia National Labs have identified a MOF type and topology with temperature dependent oxygen selectivities up to 1 atm. As shown, these MOFs bear iron or scandium metal nodes. NuMat will measure the oxygen selectivities of these identified MOFs under working PSA conditions (up to 10 bar and under various relative humidities). In addition to the MOFs identified by Sandia, NuMat will evaluate other MOF topologies with iron or scandium metal nodes for comparative capacities and oxygen selectivities. Finally, NuMat will look at the feasibility of scaling the most promising materials and how this could be achieved under a Phase II proposal for prototype testing. NuMat is dedicated to the commercialization of adsorbent based technologies that utilize MOFs. To achieve this goal a multidisciplinary team has been assembled that includes chemists, engineers, and business experts. This team has successfully developed one of the first commercial MOF-based product, ION-X®. In addition to successfully commercializing ION-X®, NuMat has performed significant research in MOF-based air separation, as seen in patent US9427722. As such, NuMat has great interest in licensing complimentary technology to increase the likelihood of developing transformation air separation units. In addition to investigating technical objectives, the business team will be leveraged under this SBIR to fully understand the commercial opportunities that are present, once the goals of this proposal are achieved. The ultimate goal of Phase I, II, and III efforts will be an energy efficient air separation unit that displaces energy intensive PSA and cryogenic units. Once completed these systems will be used in concert with oxyfuel combustion plants to ultimately reduce quantity of emitted flu gas.

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

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