High Performance Fluoroelastomer Nanocomposite Seals For Geothermal Submersible Pumps

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-08ER85145
Agency Tracking Number: N/A
Amount: $99,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: 21 c
Solicitation Number: DE-PS02-07ER07-36
Small Business Information
Nei Corporation
400 Apgar Drive, Suite E, Somerset, NJ, 08873
DUNS: 042939277
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Runqing Ou
 (732) 868-3141
Business Contact
 Ganesh Skandan
Title: Dr.
Phone: (732) 868-3141
Email: gskandan@neicorporation.com
Research Institution
Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESPs) for use in geothermal energy production are subjected to harsh downhole environments. These environments include hot brine (which contains calcium and chloride ions, corrosive hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide, and silica and entrained sand) at temperatures in the range of 300 to 450 °F. Fluoroelastomeric materials are frequently used as seals in these applications, but these materials degrade over time in these harsh environments, leading to equipment failure. This project will demonstrate the feasibility of novel fluoroelastomers that utilize nanoscale additives that do not suffer from the interfacial issues of conventional reinforcing fillers. The incorporation of these nanoscale additives is expected to enhance the mechanical, physical, and chemical-resistance properties of the fluoroelastomer, while at the same time retaining the desirable properties required of seals. In Phase I, this new fluoroelastomeric material will be used to fabricate o-rings, which will be tested under the harsh conditions that would be experienced by ESPs during geothermal energy production. A field study will be conducted in Phase II. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The new fluoroelastomeric materials should find numerous uses in applications that experience harsh environments. Besides the o-rings and related seals found in ESPs for geothermal energy production, the fluoroelastomers could be used in oil and natural gas drilling/production and as seals for space exploration applications. The fluoroelastomer materials used in drilling applications represent a multi-billion dollar business.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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