New Energy Efficient Route to Styrene

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-05ER84231
Agency Tracking Number: 78794B05-I
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: 21
Solicitation Number: DE-FG02-06ER06-09
Small Business Information
99 Dorsa Avenue, Livingston, 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: Mr.
Phone: (973) 740-2350
Research Institution
Styrene is an important monomer used in a variety of plastic products. In terms of monomer production, styrene ranks fourth in the U.S. behind ethylene, vinyl chloride, and propylene. However, styrene plants use dramatically more energy compared to the production of other petrochemicals. This project will develop a styrene monomer technology that uses alternative feedstocks (toluene and methanol), thereby reducing raw material costs, improving energy efficiency, and lowering the cost of production. During Phase I, experimental samples of a novel catalyst were synthesized, characterized, and tested for activity and selectivity. Product yields of 80% were achieved at complete reactant conversion. A preliminary economic assessment indicated operating savings in excess of $300/ton of styrene produced, compared to conventional process. Phase II will optimize the catalyst design, choose a viable reactor configuration, develop the mathematical tools needed for commercial scale-up, identify a window of optimum operating conditions, and test the catalyst for an extended period to establish long-term stability. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The new process should reduce the energy consumed by the manufacture of styrene by 70%. Capital costs also will be greatly reduced.

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

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