There are over 13 million diesel trucks on the roadways in the United States. An older, diesel vehicle can produce about 8 tons of air pollution each year. Diesel exhaust is implicated in lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma attacks, and respiratory symptoms. The introduction of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD) (reduced from 500 ppm to 15 ppm) will reduce air pollution significantly.
This invention is a novel, low cost, safe (ambient temperature, no concentrated acid) methods for dramatically reducing the sulfur content of fossil fuel (diesel). The generalized method starts by oxidizing the organic sulfide in the fossil fuel with the addition of an alkali borate and a solvent. This allows the alkali borate and the organic sulfide to react to produce an oxidized organic sulfide (e.g. organic sulfone). The mixture is then easily separated into the oxidized organic sulfide and the hydrocarbon substance. By removing the (oxidized) organic sulfide from the hydrocarbon substance a purified, low sulfur fossil fuel can be obtained.
This chemical process uses less hazardous reagents and milder conditions than competitive processes. In addition this process and method provides for more efficient removal of sulfur from diesel fuel.
This method can be applied to produce ULSD and has been demonstrated to reduce the sulfur content of fuel from approximately 2% to 0.5% sulfur.
U.S. Patent Application 11/794,747 entitled “Fossil Fuel Desulfurization” was filed on July 5, 2007
We are seeking a commercialization partner for scale-up testing, process refinement and commercialization of this novel, simple, safe, low cost solution to producing ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.
About the Inventors
Dr. Ren is a Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University since 2005 and was an Associate Professor at the University of Miami (1998-2005). His research is in synthetic and physical inorganic chemistry with emphasis on compounds of importance in energy science including expedient oxygenation of organic sulfides with inexpensive catalysts and effective removal of dibenzothiophene from fossil fuels via oxygenation-extraction strategy. Dr. Ren earned his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and was a post-doctoral fellow at M.I.T.
Dr. Barker received her Ph.D. from the University of Miami in 2006 working in the laboratory of Dr. Tong Ren. Here, her research encompassed the design of environmentally friendly and low cost catalytic systems for sulfide oxygenation applicable to desulfurization from fossil fuels. She has also worked in medicinal chemistry at Advanced SynTech, a company specializing in synthesis of solid phase combinatorial libraries (2000-2001). Julia received her B.A. from Bellarmine University in both Chemistry and Biology in 2000. Dr. Barker left UM upon graduation.
Barker, J. E.; Ren, T. Tetrahedron Letters, 2004, 45, 4681-4683."Facile Oxygenation of Organic Sulfides with H2O2 Catalyzed by Mn-Me3TACN Compounds"
Barker, J. E.; Ren, T. Tetrahedron Lett., 2005, 46, 6805-6808. "Sulfide oxygenation by tert-butyl hydroperoxide with mononuclear (Me3TACN) Mn catalysts"
Phan, T. D.; Kinch, M. A.; Barker, J. E.; Ren, T. Tetrahedron Lett., 2005, 46, 397-400. "Highly Efficient Utilization of H2O2 for Oxygenation of Organic Sulfides Catalyzed by [γ-SiW10O34(H2O)2]4-"