High-Octane Fuel Stocks via Reactive Distillation

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-00ER83004
Agency Tracking Number: 60108S00-II
Amount: $600,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2001
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
99 Dorsa Avenue, Livingstone, NJ, 07039
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mitrajit Mukherjee
 (973) 740-2350
Business Contact
 Mitrajit Mukherjee
Title: President
Phone: (973) 740-2350
Email: mm_epsilon@hotmail.com
Research Institution
60108 The United States is the largest producer of refined petroleum products in the world, with 25 percent of global production and 163 operating refineries. U.S. refineries are also the largest energy consumers in manufacturing and spend $4-$6 billion annually in pollution abatement costs. Ultimately, such cleaner-by-design process technologies that use ¿engineered catalysts¿ could cut down significantly on energy usage and bring about a paradigm shift in the petroleum refining industry. This project will develop a light naphtha isomerization technology using catalytic distillation, which will produce isomerate (iso-pentanes and iso-hexanes) having a higher octane rating than conventional fixed-bed technologies. In Phase I, the hydrodynamic feasibility of using a multifunctional catalyst substrate in a multi-phase, counter-current, reactor operation was established. Phase II will develop the multifunctional solid-acid that will be used in a catalytic distillation reactor to produce isomerate from normal paraffins. Multifunctional catalysts will be designed, synthesized, and tested in both fixed-bed and catalytic distillation reactors. Information from the performance tests will be used to optimize catalyst design, reactor configuration, and process parameters. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) has been banned as a gasoline additive in California, and groundwater contamination associated with MTBE has forced refiners all over the world to find a viable alternative. An appropriate blend of C5-C6 isomerates with alkylates would match the volatility of gasoline and be a perfect replacement for MTBE. The new isomerization technology would thus provide U.S. refiners with a viable alternative to MTBE.

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

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