PCI New Direct Methane-To-Chemicals Upgrading Reactor Wins DOE SBIR Phase II

APRIL 27, 2015

(North Haven, CT) Precision Combustion Inc. (PCI) announced today that it has been awarded a Department of Energy (DOE) SBIR Phase II grant to develop a new compact and scalable catalytic reactor for converting natural gas directly to commodity chemicals.

Precision Combustion, Inc. is developing a long-sought method to directly convert shale-gas methane into fuels or value-added chemicals that avoids the high energy cost, large intensive processing units, and large upfront investments required by conventional multi-step technologies. PCI’s approach is compact, field deployable, scalable, and offers a potential breakthrough in energy efficiency and yield for converting methane-rich shale gas to ethylene or other chemicals in a single step. Ethylene has large value in the commodity market as a primary petrochemical intermediate and feedstock for both chemicals and fuels.

Fracking and horizontal drilling technology have unleashed a boom in American oil and gas production from shale and other reservoirs, however this has driven down natural gas values as well as led to gas flaring or costly reinjection, while the price of chemicals remain tied to the price of more costly oil. PCI’s novel reactor offers oil and gas producers the ability to convert natural gas directly to higher value industrial chemicals and intermediates; while simultaneously saving energy and lowering greenhouse gas emissions by avoiding flaring or venting.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Weissman, Principal Investigator for this project, “Our unique design overcomes the technical challenges of conversion of methane to ethylene while reducing the production of undesirable byproducts. We envision a process that will be deployed at oil and gas field and will be capable of economic operation at 100-1,000 or more barrels of liquid fuel or commodity chemicals per day.” Kevin Burns, PCI President, adds “Success will enable a gas-to-fuels or chemicals route that will improve the economics of both shale gas and stranded gas, and will improve the value of America’s gas resource. This would boost energy efficiency and resource efficiency, improve the economics of oil and gas production, provide economic drivers to reduce gas flaring or high-pressure re-injection, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are now looking for potentially interested industrial and other partners to work with as we develop the technology and chart its path to the market.”

Precision Combustion, Inc. is a clean energy technology company developing and manufacturing catalytic devices and systems for energy sector applications.  To learn more, visit precision-combustion.com.

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