SBIR Phase I: Non-Conventional Processing of Highly Active Hydrodesulfurization Catalysts

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0610241
Agency Tracking Number: 0610241
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: CT
Solicitation Number: NSF 05-605
Small Business Information
19501 144th Avenue NE, Woodinville, WA, 98072
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Stephanie Sawhill
 (425) 485-7272
Business Contact
 Stephanie Sawhill
Title: Ms
Phone: (425) 485-7272
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I research project will investigate a new synthesis method to produce highly active transition metal phosphide hydrodesulfurization (HDS) catalysts to reduce sulfur content in transportation fuels to the levels set by environmental legislation. Transition metal phosphides were recently discovered to be highly active towards HDS. However, difficulties involved with the synthesis of transition metal phosphides on oxide supports has prevented them from achieving their full potentials. The long heating times and high temperatures employed for conventional synthesis methods causes phosphorus-support interactions and phosphorus volatilization, which lowers the activity of the catalysts. Phase I research will address the synthesis of oxide supported transition metal phopshide catalysts using a nonconventional method. The proposed technique utilizes a selective and fast heating method that avoids the problems of conventional thermal heating. The catalysts will be characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), inductively coupled plasma-atomic emissions spectroscopy (ICP-AES), oxygen (O2) chemisorption, and BET surface area analysis. The HDS activities, stabilities, and selectivities of the new oxide supported transition metal phosphide catalysts will be evaluated using DBT and 4,6-DMDBT HDS. The results will be compared to catalysts prepared using conventional synthesis methods.Commercial opportunities exist for new HDS catalysts capable of producing ultra-clean transportation fuels. Environmental regulations being implemented world-wide to reduce the sulfur (S) content in transportation fuels, along with the declining quality of fossil fuel feedstocks, will provide substantial motivation for the refineries to seek alternative catalyst materials. The anticipated result for this project, following Phases I, II, and III, is the commercial availability of a highly active hydrodesulfurization catalyst that can produce ultra-low level sulfur fuels, with less than 10 ppm S, that meet current and future emission requirements for transportation fuels. The ultra-low S hydrocarbon fuels, produced using the new HDS catalyst, could also be used in fuel processors to produce hydrogen fuel for PEM fuel cell applications. This research would lead to the development of a new catalyst for HDS, to reduce the impact of pollution generated from transportation fuels. It will make an important contribution to advancements in efficient, clean-burning energy sources for transportation and fuel cell applications. The results of this research will also provide significant benefits to the scientific community, especially those in the area of heterogeneous catalysis, as it will lead to a betterunderstanding of the effects of catalyst preparation methods on their chemical and catalytic properties.

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

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