Wyoming Patent of the Month – June 2023

In today’s world, waste management and energy generation are pressing concerns that demand innovative solutions. Particularly in military-forward operating bases (FOBs), the need for efficient waste disposal and electricity generation is critical. Currently, the common practice of burning waste in open pits not only poses health risks to personnel but also leaves behind environmental hazards. Additionally, the logistical challenges of hauling waste out of remote locations further jeopardize the safety of troops and truck operators. Similar waste management issues persist in underdeveloped regions, stressed urban areas, and remote oil and gas exploration sites. Raven SR, Inc. is addressing both problems with a single solution.

Raven SR is a clean fuels company that transforms waste – municipal solid waste, organic waste, and methane – into high-quality, clean hydrogen and Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthetic fuels using a Steam/CO2 Reforming technology. Along with this technology, the company has been granted a patent for their waste reformation systems.

Raven SR’s systems provide an ideal solution for converting waste into fuel and energy at remote locations. Their innovative technology offers a compact size, making it feasible for air-dropping or trucking into various locations. By utilizing the FT reaction, a well-known process for synthetic hydrocarbon production, Raven SR’s systems efficiently convert carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2) into a range of valuable paraffinic hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons can be utilized as fuel sources or further processed for energy generation.

Raven SR’s reformation system uses an improved rotary oven reformer. This small modular device employs electric heat for gas-phase steam/CO2 reforming. With a design resembling a concrete mixer, the rotary oven incorporates a central heating cartridge and spiral flights inside. The heating cartridge supplies the required heat for the reforming process, efficiently converting steam and CO2 into syngas while simultaneously destroying organic waste. The spiral flights within the oven serve a dual purpose: agitating the waste for better contact and assisting in the removal of solid residues.

To enhance maintenance and operation, Raven SR has developed an FT reactor design using finned tubes coated with catalysts. This design allows for the individual removal of tubes, ensuring easy cleaning and maintenance while maintaining an inert reactor environment. The countercurrent flow of gas and FT liquid, facilitated by the finned tubes, prevents the formation of resin blockages and maximizes the efficiency of the reaction. The reactor design also ensures complete disengagement of the FT liquid from the syngas exit, minimizing unwanted entrainment.

In addition, the system implements  woven ceramic cloth socks as filters to remove particulate matter from the exit syngas, guaranteeing clean and pure output. The integration of small-sized solid oxide fuel cells or other high-temperature fuel cells allows for the utilization of the generated syngas to produce both heat and electricity, maximizing energy efficiency.

By combining these advancements, Raven SR has developed small, portable modules that address the waste disposal and energy generation needs of military FOBs, underdeveloped regions, and remote locations. With their commitment to improving waste-to-fuel technology, Raven SR is driving the industry forward, providing sustainable solutions for waste management and energy generation in a compact and efficient manner.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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