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Energy Efficient Refinery Process Developed with U.S. D.O.E. Support
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The United States Department of Energy historically has encouraged private efforts to develop energy saving technologies. EG&G Idaho, Inc., as the prime operating contractor at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, assists the DOE in managing federally funded industrial energy conservation projects. This paper describes a government funded project which the author monitored for the DOE. Two Houston companies, with DOE financial support, have developed an energy saving catalytic distillation process. This process uses a patented catalyst support system to save energy by performing a catalytic reaction and a primary fractionation of reaction components simultaneously in one vessel. This process is used by a Houston refiner to produce MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether), an octane booster formed by combining methanol with isobutylene. The production unit has operated for over a year producing about 1400 BPD of MTBE with a net process energy savings of about 25% over a conventional production method. The DOE plans continued support of these inventors as they search for new applications with potential for extensive industrial energy savings.
Mings, W. J. (1983). Energy Efficient Refinery Process Developed with U.S. D.O.E. Support. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from