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American Chemical Society Meeting Highlights

March 30, 2006 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. – Researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will present the following at the Spring meeting of the American Chemical Society, March 26 - 30, 2006, in Atlanta, Ga.

PNNL researcher Xiwen Huang presented his results Wednesday, March 29.

Contact: Susan Bauer (509) 375-3688
Scientific Contact: David King (509) 375-3908

New approach removes sulfur from military-grade fuel; syngas powers the process

The military needs to get the sulfur out of its fuel, in order to use the fuel to produce hydrogen for fuel cell use in the field. Fuel cells can generate the electricity necessary to power electronic gadgets and facilitate communications, while avoiding use of generators that are noisy and create heat signatures. Researchers at PNNL have developed a compact and rugged microchannel distillation unit to create a light fraction of JP-8, the standard military fuel. The JP-8 light fraction is then reacted in a catalytic process called hydrodesulfurization, in order to remove the sulfur from the fuel. Conventional technology utilizes hydrogen as the co-reactant with JP-8 to power the process, but it is not available in the field. Syngas can be generated by steam reforming of the purified fuel. Most of the syngas is further purified for use by the fuel cell, but a fraction of the syngas is diverted to the hydrodesulfurization unit. The use of syngas creates some challenges, but it appears that they have been mostly overcome in the PNNL process, and syngas performs almost as well as pure hydrogen. Gas phase operation of the process allows significant increase in throughput and decrease in operating pressure compared with conventional technology. Residual sulfur concentration in the hydrodesulfurized fuel below five parts per million has been obtained.


PNNL researcher Shas Mattigod presented his results Thursday, March 30

Contact: Geoff Harvey (509) 372-6083
Scientific Contact: (509) 531-7354

Nanoporous ‘sponge’ removes mercury from offshore produced waters

Contaminated water resulting from offshore oil and gas platform drilling contains mercury and other toxic heavy metals. Mercury concentrations in these retrieved waters can be as high 2,000 parts per billion, therefore they need to be treated before they can be safely discharged to the environment. The complex mixture of constituents including salts and petroleum hydrocarbons presents a challenge for mercury removal using currently available conventional technologies.

Researchers at PNNL have developed a novel nanoporous sorbent thiol-SAMMS, or thiol-functionalized Self Assembled Monolayers on Mesoporous Supports, to specifically remove mercury and other contaminants such as cadmium and lead from produced waters and condensate liquids from natural gas. Working with a filtration equipment company in Texas, PNNL recently demonstrated that thiol-SAMMS was effective in removing more than 99 percent of mercury from gas condensate liquids containing approximately 800 ppb mercury. The thiol-SAMMS technology is a recipient of a R&D 100 award and recently received the 2006 Federal Laboratory Consortium award for successful technology transfer for commercial use. Steward Advanced Materials in Chattanooga, Tenn., is now licensed to commercially produce thiol-SAMMS.

SAMMSTM is a registered trademark.


PNNL researcher Paul Vecchi presented his results Thursday, March 30.

Contact: Susan Bauer (509) 375-3688

New materials for high efficiency organic solid state lighting

A new organic molecule developed by PNNL scientists may significantly improve the efficiency of organic solid state lighting. Direct conversion of electricity to light in “solid state” thin films of organic molecules occurs in organic light emitting devices which can be far more efficient than conventional “incandescent” light bulbs.

In an OLED, light emitting molecules harvest positive and negative charge carriers from oppositely charged electrodes to create excitons, which collapse to give light emission. By using organometallic phosphors, a photon can be emitted for every electron used so there is no wasted current.

But until now, no good host materials were available to transport the charge to blue phosphorescent light emitters. And, without an efficient blue component, it is not possible to generate the high quality white light required for indoor lighting. The PNNL team is solving this problem by linking small organic molecules together using inorganic “phosphine oxide” connecting units to make larger molecules that transport charge but do not interfere with the blue light emission process.


Tags: Energy, Environment, Fuel Cells

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of about $950 million. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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