Santa Barbara, CA, United States
Santa Barbara, CA, United States
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Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 500.00K | Year: 2012

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will expand on the successful work from Phase I project on synthesis and characterization of metal oxide nanocomposite materials that can capture HBr and be regenerated to produce bromine. The capture and regeneration capabilities of these materials are integral to the economic viability of the GRT Gas-to-Fuels/Chemicals rocess and the GRT Propane-to-Propylene Process. In the GRT Processes, natural gas alkanes are (1) reacted with bromine to form reactive lkyl bromides that are (2) reacted over catalysts to produce alkanes, aromatic compounds and olefins. The metal oxide nanocomposite was ound very efficient at sequestering HBr produced in the process as a metal bromide. The use of metal oxides allows for a very inexpensive eparation of HBr from the hydrocarbon products. Subsequent oxidation of the metal bromide produces bromine. Thus the bromine needed in 1) is generated in situ as necessary and is fully contained within the process. During Phase I, we identified metal oxide nanocomposite materials with favorable capacity and capture-regeneration cycle stability that makes industrial use economic. The proposed work is targeted at conducting further testing of these composite nanomaterials on a larger scale and in combination with other Process steps. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is that it can contribute to the urgent need for methods to economically produce renewable hydrocarbon fuels and high value chemicals that are more efficient than existing technologies. GRT is developing novel processes for the conversion of methane, ethane and propane into higher value hydrocarbons suitable for gasoline and jet fuel blend stocks, aromatic compounds or high value chemicals which can cost-effectively utilize stranded and/or small reserves of natural gas and shale gas. This upgrade of inexpensive natural gas to high value transportation fuels and chemicals at the source is very valuable because it eliminates the need for gas processing and pipeline transportation. The commercial viability of these technologies depends on energy efficiency and the capital cost of plant equipment. Improvement in the performance and stability of solid reactant/metal oxide nanocomposite materials will make substantial improvements in both of these metrics and hence in the commercial viability of the GRT Processes.


A method comprising: providing a first halogen stream; providing a first alkane stream; reacting at least a portion of the first halogen stream with at least a portion of the first alkane stream in a first reaction vessel to form a first halogenated stream; providing a second alkane stream comprising C_(2) and higher hydrocarbons; providing a second halogen stream; and reacting at least a portion of the second halogen stream with at least a portion of the second alkane stream in a second reaction vessel to form a second halogenated stream.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.96K | Year: 2011

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is directed towards the development of new materials that can serve in several functions, all of which are important in reducing the environmental impact of the use of energy. The proposed materials will be solids capable of removing one gas (such as carbon dioxide) from a mixture of gases (such as air), and then releasing the captured gas at the desired time. To be successful, the materials must be able to hold a large amount of captured gas and be capable of undergoing a minimum of 10,000 capture/release cycles required for a year of operation. The Phase I effort will focus on the use of the materials in a process that uses bromine to convert biogas into renewable transportation fuels, such as bio-gasoline. Additional applications of the materials, such as removing carbon dioxide and other contaminants from gases will be examined in Phase II of the project. The broader/commercial impacts of this research are the demands for cleaner transportation fuels and electric power. Despite the tremendous drive to move to renewable transportation fuels, the production costs of renewable fuels remains too high to be competitive with fossil fuels. If successful, the research proposed in the Phase I project will make the production of renewable transportation fuels significantly more cost effective. Additionally, the proposed materials would also have utility in the electric power industry, where there is a growing need to capture carbon dioxide and remove sulfur oxides from flue gas.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 500.00K | Year: 2012

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will expand on the successful work from Phase I project on synthesis and characterization of metal oxide nanocomposite materials that can capture HBr and be regenerated to produce bromine. The capture and regeneration capabilities of these materials are integral to the economic viability of the GRT Gas-to-Fuels/Chemicals rocess and the GRT Propane-to-Propylene Process. In the GRT Processes, natural gas alkanes are (1) reacted with bromine to form reactive lkyl bromides that are (2) reacted over catalysts to produce alkanes, aromatic compounds and olefins. The metal oxide nanocomposite was ound very efficient at sequestering HBr produced in the process as a metal bromide. The use of metal oxides allows for a very inexpensive eparation of HBr from the hydrocarbon products. Subsequent oxidation of the metal bromide produces bromine. Thus the bromine needed in 1) is generated in situ as necessary and is fully contained within the process. During Phase I, we identified metal oxide nanocomposite materials with favorable capacity and capture-regeneration cycle stability that makes industrial use economic. The proposed work is targeted at conducting further testing of these composite nanomaterials on a larger scale and in combination with other Process steps.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is that it can contribute to the urgent need for methods to economically produce renewable hydrocarbon fuels and high value chemicals that are more efficient than existing technologies. GRT is developing novel processes for the conversion of methane, ethane and propane into higher value hydrocarbons suitable for gasoline and jet fuel blend stocks, aromatic compounds or high value chemicals which can cost-effectively utilize stranded and/or small reserves of natural gas and shale gas. This upgrade of inexpensive natural gas to high value transportation fuels and chemicals at the source is very valuable because it eliminates the need for gas processing and pipeline transportation. The commercial viability of these technologies depends on energy efficiency and the capital cost of plant equipment. Improvement in the performance and stability of solid reactant/metal oxide nanocomposite materials will make substantial improvements in both of these metrics and hence in the commercial viability of the GRT Processes.


Patent
GRT, Inc. | Date: 2012-05-23

A process is disclosed that includes brominating a C_(2), C_(3), C_(4), C_(5 )or C_(6 )alkane with elemental bromine to form a bromo-alkane. The bromo-alkane is reacted to form a C_(2), C_(3), C_(4), C_(5 )or C_(6 )alkene and HBr. The HBr is oxidized to form elemental bromine.


A method comprising: providing a first halogen stream; providing a first alkane stream; reacting at least a portion of the first halogen stream with at least a portion of the first alkane stream in a first reaction vessel to form a first halogenated stream; providing a second alkane stream comprising C_(2) and higher hydrocarbons; providing a second halogen stream; and reacting at least a portion of the second halogen stream with at least a portion of the second alkane stream in a second reaction vessel to form a second halogenated stream.


A method comprising: providing a first halogen stream; providing a first alkane stream; reacting at least a portion of the first halogen stream with at least a portion of the first alkane stream in a first reaction vessel to form a first halogenated stream; providing a second alkane stream comprising C_(2) and higher hydrocarbons; providing a second halogen stream; and reacting at least a portion of the second halogen stream with at least a portion of the second alkane stream in a second reaction vessel to form a second halogenated stream.


Patent
GRT, Inc. and The Regents Of The University Of California | Date: 2011-01-26

Alcohols, ethers and olefins are manufactured from alkanes by mixing an alkane and bromine in a reactor to form alkyl bromide and hydrogen bromide. The alkyl bromide only or the alkyl bromide and the hydrogen bromide are directed into contact with the metal oxide to form an alcohol and/or ether, or an olefin and metal bromide. The metal bromide is oxidised to form original metal oxide and bromine, both of which are recycled.


An improved continuous process for converting methane, natural gas, or other hydrocarbon feedstocks into one or more higher hydrocarbons or olefins by continuously cycling through the steps of alkane halogenation, product formation (carbon-carbon coupling), product separation, and regeneration of halogen is provided. Preferably, the halogen is continually recovered by reacting hydrobromic acid with air or oxygen. The invention provides an efficient route to aromatic compounds, aliphatic compounds, mixtures of aliphatic and aromatic compounds, olefins, gasoline grade materials, and other useful products.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 149.96K | Year: 2011

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is directed towards the
development of new materials that can serve in several functions, all of which are important in
reducing the environmental impact of the use of energy. The proposed materials will be solids
capable of removing one gas (such as carbon dioxide) from a mixture of gases (such as air), and
then releasing the captured gas at the desired time. To be successful, the materials must be able
to hold a large amount of captured gas and be capable of undergoing a minimum of 10,000
capture/release cycles required for a year of operation. The Phase I effort will focus on the use of
the materials in a process that uses bromine to convert biogas into renewable transportation fuels,
such as bio-gasoline. Additional applications of the materials, such as removing carbon dioxide
and other contaminants from gases will be examined in Phase II of the project.
The broader/commercial impacts of this research are the demands for cleaner transportation
fuels and electric power. Despite the tremendous drive to move to renewable transportation
fuels, the production costs of renewable fuels remains too high to be competitive with fossil
fuels. If successful, the research proposed in the Phase I project will make the production of
renewable transportation fuels significantly more cost effective. Additionally, the proposed
materials would also have utility in the electric power industry, where there is a growing need to
capture carbon dioxide and remove sulfur oxides from flue gas.

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