Magnetic Separation of Catalyst Fischer-Tropsch Wax

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-00ER83008
Agency Tracking Number: 60585S00-II
Amount: $686,957.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2001
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Building 242, Schreiber Industrial District, P.O. Box 588, New Kensington, PA, 15068
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robin Oder
 (724) 337-4415
Business Contact
 Marcia Oder
Title: Vice President
Phone: (724) 337-4415
Research Institution
60585 Fischer Tropsch (F-T) synthesis is a promising process for producing high quality, environmentally clean, diesel fuels. However, the separation of catalyst fines from the Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) reactor product stream has been a major impediment to applying the technology for the conversion of hydrocarbon resources such as coal and petroleum coke to clean burning fuels. This project will develop a novel magnetic method for the efficient separation of iron-based catalysts from F-T wax. The method addresses problems associated with the high concentration and small particle size of catalysts used in F-T production of wax from synthesis gas, produced in gasification of coal and other hydrocarbon resources. In Phase I, the concentration of wax in analog liquids was reduced from 20 Wt.% to 0.2 Wt.% in continuous operation over long time periods. Catalyst was successfully separated from Fischer-Tropsch wax at elevated temperature, and the effects of major process parameters were determined. High-gradient magnetic filtration of the output produced a clear wax with particle concentration less than 500 ppm. Operating costs for a bare continuous separator were estimated between $2 and $3 per 1000 gallons. Phase II will acquire and activate a significant amount of iron catalyst, build a test bed suitable for optimization of the technology, carry out extended runs at elevated temperature and pressure to confirm the robust nature of the technology,and perform a conceptual engineering evaluation of a 15gpm pilot unit. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: The technology should be useful for the continuous and low cost separation of magnetic particles from elevated temperature and viscous process streams, including hydrocarbon streams, fuel products, and chemicals. The technology is also applicable to recovery of micro-sized magnetite media used in ore dressing and coal cleaning.

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

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