Novel System for Solid Catalyzed Isobutane/Olefin Alkylation

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-07ER84846
Agency Tracking Number: 82238
Amount: $749,913.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: 08
Solicitation Number: DE-PS02-06ER06-30
Small Business Information
Precision Combustion, Inc.
410 Sackett Point Road, North Haven, CT, 06473
DUNS: 178154456
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 William Pfefferle
 Dr
 (203) 287-3700
 bpfefferle@precision-combustio
Business Contact
 John Scanlon
Title: Mr
Phone: (203) 287-3700
Email: jscanlon@precision-combustion.
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Isobutene/olefin alkylation is a major refinery process in which light hydrocarbons (isobutene and, mainly, C3 and C4 olefins) are converted to a high octane gasoline feedstock. Alkylate currently accounts for a key fraction of the total U.S. gasoline pool; in fact, concerns over emissions have led to an interest in increasing the amount of alkylate used in gasoline. However, environmental and safety concerns present a barrier to this increase, as current processes for alkylate production employ hazardous liquid acids. As yet, a practical process based on solid catalysts has not been identified ¿ conventional fixed bed processes have faced rapid catalyst aging and downtime for regeneration. This project will develop a novel reactor approach to solid-catalyzed isobutene/olefin alkylation in which olefin polymerization at the catalytic surface is limited, thereby avoiding the primary issue with solid catalyzed alkylation. Moreover, the proposed approach offers the potential for higher quality alkylate. Phase I demonstrated the validity of the system to limit olefin polymerization, produced high quality alkylate via the reaction of isobutene with 2-butene, defined the basic parameters of the system (including coatings, reactor configuration and operating conditions), and documented stable operation over a 100-hour test run. In collaboration with a major petroleum refiner, Phase II will optimize the reactor configuration (geometry and catalyst selection) and operating conditions (feed rates/ratio, system temperature, and system pressure), and demonstrate long-term life (high productivity of high octane product for 1000+ hours of continuous operation). Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as by the awardee: The replacement of liquid-acid-based HF and sulfuric acid processes with solid catalyst process should improve yield, eliminate environmental and safety complications, simplify plant design (e.g., by avoiding acids handling and refrigeration steps), reduce capital costs, and reduce energy consumption and operating costs.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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