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New Haven, CT, United States

Precision Combustion, lnc. | Date: 2015-01-12

A system and method of producing oil is provided. The system includes a support module that provides air, water and fuel to a well. A steam generator is fluidly coupled to the support module to receive the air, water and fuel. The steam generator includes an injector having a plurality of tubes. The tubes have an outer surface with an oxidation catalyst thereon. The steam generator is configured to divide the supplied air and direct a first portion through the tubes. A second portion of the supplied air is mixed with supplied fuel and directed over the outside of the tubes. The air and fuel is burned in a combustor and water is sprayed on the combustion gases to produce steam. The steam and combustion gases are directed in the direction of the oil reservoir.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.41K | Year: 2015

Direct conversion of shale gas to useful chemicals or fuels has faced the central challenge that reaction rates and product yields high enough to be economic are accompanied by overreaction to full combustion products in either conventional or unconventional approaches. We are developing an integrated process combining alkane activation via oxidative coupling to form ethylene or higher alkene oligomers, which will be followed by direct-fed integrated ethylene to fuels process. A viable direct shale gas to fuels and/or chemicals process offers substantial energy savings with significantly reduced process complexity and capital intensity, as compared to industrially practiced large-scale indirect routes which include methane-steam reforming, followed by watergas shift, and then methanol synthesis or Fischer-Tropsch upgrading. While extensively investigated, this direct pathway is problematic due to reaction engineering constraints. Common features of both the oligomerization and ethylene polymerization reactions include potential to overreactions, especially to combustion products or waxy polymers, reaction rate limitations related to mass transfer, or need to moderate reaction rates due to excessive adiabatic heat of reactions. PCIs reactor technology has been developed to overcome these limitations while maintaining effectiveness of the catalysts. In Phase I we completed proof-of-concept testing that demonstrated the viability of our approach. Specifically, for reactions involving an overly reactive component, in this case oxygen, we were effective in limiting overreaction to carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, enhancing the yields of ethylene, while maintaining overall methane conversion levels, creating a pathway towards developing a economically viable process that will perform equally well in both small and larger scale projects. In Phase II, we will further develop our reactor technology for long term robustness, conduct small-scale pilot unit testing, and develop modeling tools directed at developing a process design package. The overall goal of the Phase II program will be to develop the design and operating specifications to enable a pilot-scale demonstration of our CMT reactor technology for the ethylene synthesis component of a shale-gas to gasoline or chemicals project. Success would simultaneously cut the costs of transportation fuels while also improving American energy independence and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.89K | Year: 2015

A central tenet of U.S. energy policy is the achievement of high gasoline mileage which would substantially advance the U.S. and DOE missions of improved energy efficiency, increased energy independence, and mitigation of climate change. One promising path forward for increasing mileage is to use reformed fuel to improve engine combustion stability for greater efficiency and lower emissions, including through the use of high levels of EGR and/or operating the engine in a lean burn regime. PCI has identified a compact reformer system that in preliminary testing addressed the key barrier issues. The results indicated improved BSFC, improved BMEP and reduced brake specific emissions. PCI proposes to build on these findings and develop the technology to apply to a range of lean burn gasoline engines being developed by automotive OEMs. PCI will develop and demonstrate a simple, cost-effective, readily- manufactured reformer for high EGR/ ultra-lean operation of SI gasoline engines. PCI will experimentally demonstrate the efficiency and emissions benefits via implementation of the system in a 50 HP engine. In addition, PCI will collaborate with a Tier 1 automotive supplier to use the experimental results to scale and design a system suitable for a full-scale automotive application. The proposed effort will result in the development of a practical, cost-effective and efficient system that could be readily integrated into modern engines and dilute gasoline combustion designs, helping to enable achievement of very high mpg targets. Success in introducing the system into commercial automotive engines would provide a broad base of applications ranging from automotive engines, to portable power, to utility engines helping to reduce fuel usage in a wide range of fields. Partnership with a key Tier 1 automotive supplier during Phase I reduces implementation risk and provides credibility to the approach.

Agency: Environmental Protection Agency | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 299.97K | Year: 2015

Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) is developing a regenerable high efficiency filter technology for direct removal of gaseous pollutants such as VOCs and CO2 from indoor air. In addition to controllably improving indoor air quality (IAQ), the direct removal of these pollutants will reduce the requirement for building ventilation with outdoor make-up air currently used to dilute the concentration of indoor contaminants. This will enable significant energy cost savings and reduce global warming load as significantly less temperature and humidity-controlled outdoor make-up air will be required. This innovative air filter technology combines PCI’s novel Microlith® support elements with sorbent nanomaterials that can be tailored to capture and later desorb a variety of targeted gaseous pollutants. Adapting and improving upon space station cabin atmosphere revitalization technology, Microlith® adsorbers are smaller, lighter and use less power than existing technologies such as pellets and monoliths. The technology also offers the benefits of low pressure drop, rapid in-situ regeneration, high filter media utilization, longer filter service life, design modularity, and sorbent media flexibility. These features support a system offering reliably high indoor air quality at a lower lifecycle cost than is achieved with disposable filter-based systems, and in a form factor suitable for plug and play installation within building HVAC systems. In Phase I, a bench-scale, proof-of-concept air filter media was developed and examined, and operating conditions were identified and optimized. We demonstrate the ability to effectively remove a wide spectrum of gaseous pollutants and chemical contaminants, including typical indoor VOCs and CO2. The filter was thermally stable and maintained >90% adsorption activity following exposures to contaminants in ambient air for repeated adsorption-desorption cycles. Regeneration can use a direct resistive approach, resulting in a quick and low power regeneration. Low pressure drop across the filter was demonstrated. During Phase II, PCI will further develop and advance the air filter technology targeting specific building applications and developing appropriate system prototypes for field demonstration. This includes air filter scale-up design, sizing, and manufacturing per targeted building requirements. In completing Phase II, PCI will produce multiple air filter system prototypes for evaluation at independent facilities or customer sites. Target early entry markets include buildings and facilities where air quality is a concern, filter replacements create a maintenance burden, and large volumes of makeup-air results in energy inefficiency. The approach offers a cost-saving route to improve indoor air quality in industrial and commercial buildings, and potentially in homes.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.99K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: U.S military logistics fuels such as JP-8 and JP-5 are used across the full range of its IC engines, from those adapted from Avgas to Remove Piloted Aircraft (RPA) applications to heavy duty compression ignition engines. Yet unlike commercial diesel fuels, these distillate fuels have no cetane specification, and so vary widely in this key measure of ignition delay. The result can be substantial variation in fuel efficiency, engine operability, mission range, and maintenance requirements, a problem that could be helped by an inexpensive cetane sensor suitable for use on military IC engines. Using the measured cetane number to modify engine parameters such as ignition timing could notably improve the performance and capability of military IC engines. PCI has developed and in Phase I demonstrated an ultra-compact simple cetane sensor that directly measures ignition delay and offers to fill this need as well as some others. In Phase II, we will develop the sensor for military application, further improving miniaturization, performance and stage of development, while delivering a TRL-6 standalone prototype capable of field operation. BENEFIT: Anticipated benefits of knowing the cetane number would be information that could be used in an engine controller to improve engine performance, efficiency and life, which in turn could extend RPA range and capability while extending maintenance cycles. Similar benefits could accrue in larger engines, plus in such engines fuel efficiency gains could also become significant. Commercial applications include for RPAs and other unmanned vehicles, for small and large compression ignition engines (including for cases with diesel fuel where further cetane information could be helpful even with a specification), and for refineries, where a real time sensor may aid in improving yield.

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