STTR Phase I: Development of Multi-Functional Membrane-Based Reactor for High Alcohol Synthesis

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$150,000.00
Award Year:
2008
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
0740806
Agency Tracking Number:
0740806
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Media and Process Technology Inc.
1155 WILLIAM PITT WAY, PITTSBURGH, PA, 15238
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
802071662
Principal Investigator:
Paul Liu
PhD
(412) 826-3711
pliu@mediaandprocess.com
Business Contact:
Paul Liu
PhD
(412) 826-3711
pliu@mediaandprocess.com
Research Institution:
University of Southern California
Lisa Inomata-O'Connell
837 W. Downey Way
RM 330, L
Los Angeles, CA, 90089 1147
(412) 826-3711
Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project will develop a commercially viable ethanol process via a multi-functional membrane-based reactor using the best available catalyst. The proposed reactor incorporates the advantages of existing reactors which result from the in-situ product removal, without being hampered by some of the associated disadvantages, such as inefficient removal of the exothermic reaction heat. A nearly 100% carbon monoxide (CO) conversion with a high selectivity to ethanol is theoretically and practically feasible in this single stage reactor. Process intensification, as a result of the application of the proposed multi-functional reactor, will result in high efficiencies, low capital costs, and a small overall footprint, all required for the process to be a commercially viable. The broader impact/commercial potential of coal-derived ethanol is an affordable, efficient hydrogen carrier that can be distributed and stored using the nation?s existing fuel infrastructure. In addition, as is also the case with bio-ethanol (albeit at a smaller scale), coal-derived ethanol can provide an interim solution as a liquid automobile fuel/additive before the hydrogen-based economy is fully implemented. Ethanol derived from the abundant domestic supply of coal can reduce dependence on imported energy, and more importantly, offers an attractive alternative to bio-ethanol. An efficient coal-to-ethanol production process offers an economically driven ethanol supply (as opposed to subsidized bio-ethanol) to the growing market demand in the near-term, while providing a high energy density feedstock from domestically available coal for distributed hydrogen production in the long-term when the hydrogen-based economy will be fully implemented.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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