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Available Technologies

Title Date Posted Patent Information Opportunity Sort ascending
Metal Oxide Promoters for Improving the Reactivity and Capacity of Oxygen Carriers for the Chemical Looping Combustion Process USPN 8,807,988

This technology, titled "Metal Oxide Promoters for Improving the Reactivity and Capacity of Oxygen Carriers for the Chemical Looping Combustion Process,” provides a mixed metal oxide carrier to improve the oxygen transfer capacity and reactivity of existing carriers. Following patent approval, the technology will be available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Regenerable Mixed Copper-Iron-Inert Support Oxygen Carriers for Solid Fuel Chemical Looping Combustion Process USPN 9,523,499

This technology, "Regenerable Mixed Copper-Iron-Inert Support Oxygen Carriers for Solid Fuel Chemical Looping Combustion Process," provides a metal-oxide oxygen carrier for application in fuel combustion processes that use oxygen. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Pyrochlore-Based Catalysts for Syngas-Derived Alcohol Synthesis USPN 9,150,476; USPN 9,598,644

This technology provides an advantageous means to convert syngas into a class of chemicals known as higher oxygenates, as well as other long-chain hydrocarbons. Research is currently active on this technology "Method of CO and/or CO2 Hydrogenation Using Doped Mixed Metal Oxides." This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Cu-Pd Hydrogen Separation Membranes with Reduced Palladium Content and Improved Performance USPN 8,608,829

This patented technology, "Cu-Pd Hydrogen Separation Membranes with Reduced Palladium Content and Improved Performance," consists of copper-palladium alloy compositions for hydrogen separation membranes that use less palladium and have a potential increase in hydrogen permeability and resistance to sulfur degradation compared to currently available copper-palladium membranes. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Researchers at NETL have identified the need for further materials performance testing to be completed for the alloy compositions described above. Performance testing would provide data related to membrane hydrogen permeability, flux, and membrane lifespan. Testing results would show the significance of the technological and economic impact of this technology compared to current hydrogen separation membrane technology. Results would also potentially validate the technology and allow for introduction into commercial industry.

The NETL Pittsburgh site has materials performance testing capabilities and is able to perform all the necessary tests. Approximately 320 hours of material performance testing is needed to test two most promising alloy compositions.

Novel Method Concentrates Rare Earth Elements Within Coal Byproducts to Facilitate Extraction USPN 10,358,694

This patented technology establishes a novel method for concentrating rare earth elements (REEs) within coal byproducts to facilitate extraction processes. The technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Challenge
REEs are essential components of modern technological devices, such as cell phones and computer hard drives, that support a broad range of vital industries. China provides the bulk of the world’s supply, largely due to environmental and economic challenges associated with extraction. Coal resources used in energy, iron, and steelmaking operations contain quantities of REEs sufficient to meet U.S. needs for years to come, but not as enriched solids. Cost-effective technology that facilitates the recovery of REEs in their most useful form offers the potential to simultaneously boost America’s economy, national security, and independence.

Converting Natural Gas to Valuable Chemicals with Microwave Technology U.S. Patent Pending

This novel patent-pending methane conversion technology employees microwave-assisted catalysis for chemical conversion. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Challenge

Natural gas, primarily composed of methane, is a cheap and abundant domestic resource that can be converted to a wide range of products including liquid transportation fuels and a wide range of chemical intermediates. However, traditional methods of converting methane to valuable chemicals first require it to be converted to synthesis gas.

A direct, one-step, method to convert the methane would have significant advantages over current indirect methods, including reduced costs and increased yields, but several technology barriers must first be overcome. Microwave-assisted catalyst reactions can provide a viable direct method for overcoming these barriers.

Producing Carbon and Hydrogen With NETL’s Novel Iron-based Catalyst U.S. Patent Pending

This new Iron-based catalyst will enable a one-step process to produce hydrogen - a promising energy source that is also environmentally benign - by directly converting methane. The catalyst will eliminate the need to first create syngas and then remove carbon dioxide. In addition to creating hydrogen, carbon, which is also a useful commodity is created as a by-product. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Challenge
The traditional commercial methods of forming hydrogen from methane are based on steam methane reforming, coal or bio-mass gasification, electrolysis, and thermo-chemical processes. Some of these methods are cost-effective, but each requires that syngas first be created and the water gas shift reaction be used to convert syngas to hydrogen and carbon dioxide. From there, the hydrogen must be purified using pressure swing adsorption to separate the hydrogen for the carbon dioxide. Developing a method that avoids these intermediate steps would reduce the cost of producing valuable hydrogen.

Selective CO2 Conversion With Novel Copper Catalyst U.S.Patent Pending

This invention describes the synthesis and application of nanostructured copper (Cu) catalysts that selectively convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbon monoxide (CO). This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Challenge
The electrochemical CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR) is an appealing strategy for addressing man-made CO2 emissions because it can leverage excess renewable energy to produce carbon-neutral chemicals and fuels. However, the economic viability of large-scale CO2RR systems will depend on the ability to selectively and efficiently form desirable products. Because it is earth-abundant and can produce a variety of products, Cu is a popular CO2RR catalyst. Unfortunately, the wide product distribution of Cu introduces inefficiencies in the form of chemical separation steps.

Improved Pelletized Immobilized Amine Sorbents for CO2 Capture USPN 10,065,174; USPN 10,603,654;

This invention describes basic immobilized amine sorbents (BIAS) with improved pelletization process and formulation for use in CO2 capture processes. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Challenge
BIAS sorbents demonstrate high CO2 capture capacity and thermal stability over multiple steam regeneration cycles and represent a promising approach for CO2 removal from a variety of source points, including coal and natural gas combustion power plants. Bench- and pilot-scale testing have demonstrated the feasibility of commercial-scale BIAS sorbents. However, full commercialization of BIAS sorbents requires pelletization. Commercially available silica typically serves as the support for amine-based particle sorbents, yet these materials are not commercially feasible due to their relatively low mechanical strength and difficult management in dynamic reactor systems. Thus, the development of an economical method of fabricating a strong silica-supported BIAS pellet is a primary concern.

Improved Rare Earth Element Extraction Method from Coal Ash U.S. Patent Pending (provisional patent application)

This invention describes an improved method for extracting rare earth elements (REEs) from coal ash at ambient temperatures. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Challenge
As China currently controls the supply and prices of almost all the world’s REEs, developing a domestic supply is critical for the continued manufacturing of technologies that support nearly all modern devices, including critical systems for energy and national defense. REE extraction efforts from domestic sources of coal and coal-related resources have emerged as a viable solution, but successful methods must be both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

Current methods and technologies for REE extraction from ore and other sources can be hazardous and expensive to implement without harming the environment or workers. For example, common practices employ high temperatures and strong acids or bases. This technology seeks to overcome these and other issues with current REE extraction methods by turning to a material that is currently viewed as a waste – coal ash.