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Available Technologies

Title Sort descending Date Posted Patent Information Opportunity
Constant Pressure High Throughput Membrane Permeation Testing System USPN 8,821,614

A simple and rapid method for the screening of the permeability and selectivity of membranes for gas separation has been developed. A high throughput membrane testing system permits simultaneous evaluation of multiple membranes under conditions of moderate pressure and temperature for both pure gases and gas mixtures. The modular design, on-line sample analysis, and automation-competence of the technology provides a cost-effective approach to identify the optimal membrane for a given gas separation application. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Control of Slag Chemistry for the Reduction of Viscosity and Refractory Corrosion USPN 8,703,021

Research is active on the technology, titled "Basic Refractory and Slag Management for Petcoke Carbon Feedstock in Gasifiers." This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Conversion of Carbon Dioxide to Carbon Monoxide or Synthesis Gas by Reforming or Gasification Using Oxygen Carriers/Catalysts USPN 10,864,501; USPN 10,427,138

Research is active on the development of metal ferrite oxygen carriers/catalysts for use in processes that convert carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbon monoxide (CO) or synthesis gas by reforming or gasification. This invention is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Challenge

A variety of approaches have been employed to harness CO2 activation in order to produce useful products for chemical processes and to control greenhouse gas emissions. These approaches include catalytic dry reforming of methane, chemical looping dry reforming of fuel, and coal gasification with CO2.

CO and synthesis gas are very useful precursors for various chemical processes and can be used as a fuel for energy production. In catalytic dry reforming, the production of syngas from CO2 and methane is achieved in the presence of a catalyst that offers several advantages, such as mitigation of greenhouse gases emissions and conversion of CO2 and methane into syngas which can be used to produce valuable downstream chemicals. In chemical looping dry reforming, oxygen from an oxygen carrier or metal oxide is used for partial combustion of methane or coal to produce syngas or CO. The reduced oxygen carrier is then oxidized using CO2 to produce CO and oxidized oxygen carrier. In coal gasification with CO2, production of syngas from coal is achieved through the reaction of coal with CO2 instead of air or steam, which can be enhanced by the presence of metal oxide/metal promoters. Since the gasification process does not require steam, significant cost reductions would be expected. However, finding low-cost and efficient catalysts/oxygen carriers for these processes has been a major challenge, limiting their commercial success.

Conversion of Methane to Hydrogen and Synthesis Gas Using Bimetallic Oxygen Carriers USPN 10,513,436

Research is active on the development of regenerable bimetallic oxygen carriers for use in methane conversion to hydrogen combined with chemical looping combustion systems. This invention is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

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.

Corrosion Detection Sensors for Use in Natural Gas Pipelines U.S. Patent Pending

This invention describes a system and method for detecting corrosion in natural gas pipelines using an optical platform or a wireless platform. 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 U.S. Energy Information Administration states that natural gas accounts for nearly 30 percent of energy consumption in the United States. More than 300,000 miles of natural gas transmission and gathering lines deliver this valuable energy source to consumers. Like any energy infrastructure, this network of pipelines requires significant maintenance costs. In the case of natural gas pipelines, corrosion accounts for around 25 percent of incidents over the last 30 years, 61 percent of which was caused by internal corrosion.

The corrosion-related annual cost for such incidents amounts to $6 to $10 billion in the United States each year. Therefore, a need exists to monitor corrosion inside of the gas pipelines to implement corrosion mitigation and control before any failure.

Creep Resistant Ni-Based Superalloy Casting and Manufacturing U.S. Patent Pending

This invention describes an improved casting and manufacturing method for a creep-resistant nickel-based superalloy for advanced high-temperature applications. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Challenge
In the future, advanced ultra-supercritical (A-USC) and/or supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power plants are expected to raise efficiencies of coal-fired power plants from around 35 to greater than 50%. However, these advanced systems feature components that operate at high pressures and temperatures exceeding 760 degrees Celsius. These conditions cause gradual permanent deformation, known as creep, in components manufactured with currently used alloys like ferritic-martensitic high-strength steels and austenitic stainless steels.
Certain nickel-based super alloys such as Inconel 740H (IN740H) currently meet requirements for use in A-USC in a wrought version, but using the alloy in a cast form would be valuable in terms of the range of component size, geometries and complexities, and cost.
Previous efforts at casting IN740H have resulted in poor creep performance when compared to wrought versions. Furthermore, several compositions within the nominal specified range for IN740H have been investigated but failed to provide a material in the as-cast form that would withstand long-term, high temperature exposure in creep.
 

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.

Cyber-Physical System Model for Monitoring and Control U.S. Patent Pending

Research is active on the design of a cyber-physical system to monitor and exert control over multistage networked plants and processes such as multistage chemical processing plants and power generation facilities. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Distributed Optical Sensor for CO2 Leak Detection USPN 8,786,840

Research is active on the patented technology "Distributed Optical Sensor for CO2 Leak Detection". This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).