Modular Conversion of Stranded Ethane to Liquid Fuels

Ethane can represent up to 20 vol.% of shale-gas, exceeding the 10 vol. % allowed in “pipeline-quality” natural gas. Each year, over 210 million barrels (liquid equivalent) of ethane are rejected in the lower 48 states. Upgrading low- to negative-value ethane to easily transportable liquid fuels is a promising solution to this supply glut. The key to this process is development of modular systems that can operate economically at stranded sites. Conventional gas-to-liquids (GTL) technologies face significant challenges such as high capital cost and limited efficiency.

Investigators

Fanxing Li
Associate Professor

Date approved

January 01, 2018
Current TRL
3

Para-xylene Selective Membrane Reactor

The current approach to p-xylene production includes an isomerization step that gives a nearly equilibrium distribution of mixed xylenes, followed by a separate step to recover p-xylene, then recycling of p-xylene depleted product for further isomerization. This project aims to develop and validate para-xylene ultra-selective zeolite membranes and integrate them with an appropriately designed isomerization catalyst in a membrane reactor to accomplish selective para-xylene production.

Investigators

Michael Tsapatsis

Date approved

November 01, 2018
Current TRL
3

Dynamic Intensification of Chemical Processes

A significant portion of commodity productsare manufactured in large facilities that operate at steady state. In many ways, the traditional chemical industry has reached a plateau in terms of productivity and energy efficiency in such facilities. Improvements based on existing technologies and unit operations are mostly incremental and unable to address fundamental transport limitations that drive process efficiency.

Investigators

Michael Baldea
Associate Professor and Frank A. Liddell, Jr. Centennial Fellow

Partner Organizations

University of Texas at Austin Dow

Date approved

April 01, 2017
Current TRL
2

Manufacturing Supply Chain Development for the STARS Technology Modular Solar-Thermochemical Conversion Platform

This project is looking to address the primary challenge we see in the module manufacturing space – how we can significantly improve the Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) of a high Technical Readiness Level (TRL) technology to open the door for broad deployment. In particular, the team at PNNL and OSU is carrying out a cost/manufacturability study on the piloted STARS technology for solar steam methane reforming.

Investigators

Brian Paul

Partner Organizations

Oregon State University

Focus Areas

Date approved

April 01, 2017
Current TRL
6

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