Shockwave Reactor

Introduction Ethylene is a commercially important chemical with many applications, and it is especially important as a building block for other, more complex molecules. It is typically made by cracking various larger hydrocarbons using pyrolysis. The hydrocarbon feedstock for these reactions varies greatly due to the volatility in their market price, and those in the business of ethylene production must maintain plants that are flexible in the exact process they use for production in order to accommodate an ever-changing starting material. The processes and equipment for these reactions must be able to handle a wide variety of chemical components and be quickly and easily tuned for each. Technology Description Professors Mattick and Russell at the University of Washington have developed a reactor that utilizes shockwaves to initiate pyrolysis in hydrocarbons to produce ethylene. This technique rapidly cracks hydrocarbons, enabling residence times of 5-50 ms. This tunable window of time can account for different starting materials, allowing optimization of product yields and quick and easy transitions between feedstocks. Business Opportunity A reactor that utilizes shockwaves to drive hydrocarbon pyrolysis reactions presents opportunities for ethylene production. This system is tunable to a variety of starting materials and enables higher yields with less coking. This technology is potentially customizable for other pyrolysis reactions. Stage of Development Working prototypes of this technology are in development.

Type of Offer: Licensing

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