Kentucky Patent of the Month – May 2022
Advanced Energy Materials, LLC (ADEM), a leader in bulk manufacturing of nanomaterials, have been designing and developing catalyst products via nanowire technology. This technology is used in fuel cells and hydrodesulfurization (HDS) applications.
Sulfur is a naturally occurring component in crude oil and remains in diesel and gasoline. Since September 2007, all of the on-highway diesel fuel sold at gas stations in the United States is ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD), for which the allowable sulfur content is 15 ppm. Beginning in 2017, new vehicle emission standards issued by the US EPA Tier 3 program will lower the allowable sulfur content of gasoline from 30 ppm to 10 ppm. Refineries have met challenges to meet this sulfur specification, needing ultra-deep desulfurization processes.
Recently, ADEM has developed new nanowire-based hydrodesulfurization catalysts for hydrocarbon fuels. Their catalyst is composed of titanium (IV) oxide nanowires created by exposing TiO2-KOH paste to microwave radiation. An assortment of metal particles are impregnated on the metal oxide nanowire surface which are then sulfided to produce catalytically-active metal particles on the surface. This design is capable of removing thiophenic sulfur from liquid fuels through a HDS process in a fixed bed reactor. The nanowires increase the HDS activity and increase sulfur removal efficiency.
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