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Available Technologies

Title Date Posted Sort ascending Patent Information Opportunity
Producing Hydrogen from Coal Via Catalytic/Chemical Looping Processes U.S. Patent Pending

This invention describes a novel catalytic method combined with a chemical looping process to produce a hydrogen (H2)-rich synthesis gas (syngas) stream free of the nitrogen from coal. The catalytic process uses reduced metal oxide/coal/steam to produce a H2-rich syngas stream that is free of nitrogen (N2) from coal while the chemical looping combustion (CLC) of fuel with the metal oxide is used for production of the heat required for the catalytic process. CLC processes also produce a concentrated stream of carbon dioxide (CO2) that is ready for sequestration. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Challenge

Traditional coal gasification requires an expensive air separation unit to produce N2-free syngas. However, NETL’s novel catalytic process using reduced metal oxide/coal/steam does not require an air separation unit for production of nitrogen free syngas stream. Heat is traditionally produced via fuel combustion, which generates a CO2 stream mixed with N2. This stream requires expensive separation technologies for CO2 sequestration. The novel catalytic process uses the heat from CLC of fuel, which generates a sequestration ready CO2 stream. Integration of the processes, addressing contaminant issues and scaling up the technology for commercialization are necessary.

Efficient Process for Converting Methane to Syngas USPN 10,106,407

Research is active on a method to convert methane into synthesis gas using mixed metal oxides. The resulting syngas could be used to manufacture more valuable chemicals. 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 (NG), which is composed primarily of methane, is one of the most abundant, low-cost carbon-containing feedstocks available. The economically available route to produce valuable chemicals from methane is via synthesis gas followed by different chemical routes to manufacture the desired chemicals. In a large-scale industrial plant, the production of syngas accounts for a large part of the total costs. Therefore, it is important to develop more efficient and cost-effective methods for the conversion of methane to syngas.

Laser Ignition Technology U.S. Patent Pending

This technology uses composite lasers to produce multiple temporal ignition pulses, which can be used to improve the efficiency of both laser ignition systems for natural gas fueled engines as well as laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) sensors. 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-fueled engines help to reduce transportation and energy costs, fuel consumption and harmful emissions compared to conventional gasoline engines. One reason for these improvements is because combustion in a natural gas fueled engine takes place in what is called a lean burn mode, in which fuel is burned with excess of air. However, this lean burn mode may lead to unnecessary misfire when the ignition spark occurs but fails to properly ignite the fuel and air mixture.

Novel Tri-Metallic Ferrite Oxygen Carriers Enhance Chemical Looping Combustion USPN 9,797,594

A patented technology invented at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory enhances chemical looping combustion by providing tri-metallic ferrite oxygen carriers that offer greater durability and better reactivity than traditional oxygen carriers. Tri-metallic ferrite oxygen carriers also eliminate agglomeration issues, improve reduction rates, and offer similar costs when compared to traditional oxygen carriers, with convenient preparation using readily available materials. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from NETL.

Challenge

Chemical looping combustion (CLC) is a promising technology for coal-derived energy production that involves combusting fuel in nearly pure oxygen to simplify carbon capture. In CLC systems, oxygen is introduced to the system via oxidation-reduction cycling of an oxygen carrier. Traditional oxygen carriers such as CuO, Fe2O3, NiO, and CoO have disadvantages including low reactivity (Fe2O3), low melting point and high agglomeration (CuO), and health and environmental concerns (NiO). The development of new oxygen carriers with enhanced performance characteristics is required for successful deployment of coal CLC processes.

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.

Method for Producing Hydrogen from Coal and Natural Gas U.S. Patent Pending

Research is active on a method to produce hydrogen from coal and natural gas via chemical looping fuel gasification and steam oxidation with novel 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.

Efficient Processes for the Conversion of Methane to Syngas U.S. Patent Pending

Research is active on a method to convert methane into synthesis gas using a mixture of metal oxides. The resulting syngas could be used to manufacture more valuable chemicals. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

System for Enhanced Chemical Reaction, Dissociation, or Separation by Electrostatic/Microwave and/or Radio Frequency Controlled Resonant Electron Interaction U.S. Patent Pending

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has developed a system for enhancing chemical reactions by electrostatic/microwave and/or/ radio frequency controlled resonant electron interaction. The invention performs at a much lower temperature than conventional processes. The system can reduce the cost of many important industrial processes including nitrogen and hydrogen production. Although the focus of the invention is on producing hydrogen from hydrocarbon sources, many different reactions could be activated using the same physics. This invention is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research.

Challenge

Approximately 50 percent of natural gas is used by industry. The existing chemical reaction-based processes, such as, the Haber process, are very energy intensive and costly. This invention increases the rate and extent of chemical reactions at much lower temperatures resulting in higher product yield and overall production. It also allows for reduced energy requirements and reactor size of dry and partial oxidation reformers.

Novel Algorithm Enables Manufacture of Continuous Single-Crystal Fibers of Infinite Length U.S. Patent Pending

A patent-pending computer-control algorithm invented by the National Energy Technology Laboratory enables the manufacture of single-crystal optical fibers of potentially infinite length, with improved diameter control and faster growth, using a laser-heated pedestal growth (LHPG) system. These fibers can be used to fabricate sensors that can withstand the harsh environments of advanced energy systems. This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from NETL.

Challenge

Single-crystal optical fibers made of sapphire and other materials are only commercially available in short lengths of less than 2 meters. Using conventional technologies, length is limited by the finite size of the feedstock pedestal and equipment constraints that prevent supplying more feedstock material without compromising crystal quality. A robust technological solution is needed that allows replacement of the feedstock pedestal with minimum crystal defects and more consistent diameter for long single-crystal fibers. Other algorithms have been studied, but none has offered the ability to produce fibers of arbitrary length.

Blended Polymer for Gas Separation Membranes U.S. Patent Pending

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has developed a new high performance microporous polymeric blend for carbon dioxide (CO2) gas capture and separation applications. This invention is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from NETL.