Patents Represented by Attorney Melissa Patangia
  • Patent number: 8324413
    Abstract: In the present invention, a fuel composition and a process for making the same are disclosed. Specifically, in the present invention, triglycerides useful for distillate fuels are described along with their method for preparation from Fischer-Tropsch acid by-products and the glycerol by-product from biodiesel generation. By using these two by-product streams, the overall efficiency of both processes is improved and a new source of distillate fuels is created. These triglycerides can be used to improve the lubricity of Fischer-Tropsch derived distillate fuels. In addition, these triglycerides also have low melting points and have viscosities compatible with distillate fuels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Texaco Inc.
    Inventor: Dennis J. O'Rear
  • Patent number: 8260464
    Abstract: A control technique for use in a fuel processor is disclosed. In one aspect, a control system includes a subsystem manager controller the operation of a respective physical subsystem for each of a plurality of physical subsystems in the fuel processor. The subsystem managers take their direction from a master control manager. In a second aspect, the subsystem managers collectively form a layer operating in conjunction with a second layer capable of interfacing the subsystem managers to their respective physical subsystems, a third layer capable of interfacing the subsystem managers with the second layer. In a third aspect, master control manager manages the operation of each physical subsystem through a respective subsystem manager, directs state transitions of the subsystem managers, and routs interaction between the subsystem managers from the master control manager.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Assignee: Texaco Inc.
    Inventors: Vesna R. Mirkovic, W. Spencer Wheat, Hugh N. To, Dennis J. Benedetto
  • Patent number: 8241374
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a fluidized bed system for the single step reforming technology for the production of hydrogen. Single step reforming combines the steam methane reforming, water gas shift, and carbon dioxide removal in a single step process of hydrogen generation. In the present invention, to address the heat transfer and the replenishment issues associated with single step reforming, the sorbent particles are fluidized. This fluidization allows the sorbent particles to be regenerated and consequently allows the optimal operating conditions for single step reforming to be maintained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Assignee: Texaco Inc.
    Inventors: Farshad Bavarian, James F. Stevens, Balaji Krishnamurty, Yunquan Liu, Curtis L. Krause, Lixin You, Daniel G. Casey
  • Patent number: 8242214
    Abstract: The present invention relates to functionalized polymeric sorbents and processes of employing them to remove low level contaminants from fluid streams. Poly(glycidyl methacrylate-co-trimethylolpropane trimethacrylate) functionalized with a compound having the structure NH2—R1OH wherein R1 is a substituted or unsubstituted phenylene may be particularly useful to remove low levels of phenol compounds from, for example, an aqueous fluid stream comprising one or more sugars such as results from a hydrolysis of lignocellulosic materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Assignee: Georgia Tech Research Corporation
    Inventors: William John Koros, Wulin Qiu, Kuang Zhang
  • Patent number: 8236972
    Abstract: The instant invention involves a process for enhancing molecular mass of biomass reactants. The process comprises first forming a substituted or unsubstituted furfural from a biomass. The substituted or unsubstituted furfural is then reacted with an activated methylene compound in the presence of a catalyst and, if desired, a solvent to form a Knoevenagel product. The product may then be hydrogenated to products containing an alcohol, ether, aldehyde, or ketone functional groups or to an olefinic or aliphatic species wherein as much as all of the oxygen and/or nitrogen has been removed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Georgia Tech Research Corporation
    Inventors: Travis J. C. Hoskins, Carsten Sievers, Pradeep K. Agrawal, Christopher W. Jones
  • Patent number: 8211387
    Abstract: A combustor for oxidizing a combustion fuel and pre-heating one or more reactants for fuel reforming. The combustor includes an elongated housing having an inlet for receiving a combustion fuel and an outlet for exhausting combustion products. The elongated housing further includes a cylindrical side wall, a bottom wall, and a top wall. Inert particles are disposed within the housing adjacent the inlet. A combustion catalyst bed is disposed within the housing above the inert particles that is a mixture of inert particles and combustion catalyst. The inert particles and the combustion catalyst preferably have a volumetric ratio of inert particles to catalyst between about 2:1 and about 4:1. The combustor has at least one heat exchanger within the combustion catalyst bed for heating a reformer reactant and generating steam. Preferably, the combustor includes at least two heat exchangers within the combustion catalyst bed, the heat exchanging elements have different surface areas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2012
    Assignee: Texaco Inc.
    Inventors: Vijay Anant Deshpande, Curtis L. Krause, Paul Francis Martin, Kevin Hoa Nguyen, James F. Stevens, William Spencer Wheat
  • Patent number: 8061392
    Abstract: In the present invention methods for storing gaseous hydrogen employing an ionic liquid are disclosed. The ionic liquid is used to displace the volume in the storage tanks. By displacing the volume in the storage tanks with the ionic liquid, the storage pressure can remain constant and the “stranded” gas can be eliminated. This constant pressure will also allow for a reduction in the number of storage tanks needed to provide the required inventory at hydrogen fueling stations. In addition, this constant pressure will provide a complete and fast fill to the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2011
    Assignee: Texaco Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel G. Casey
  • Patent number: 8062392
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a system for biomass treatment which addresses the need to find economical solutions to transport biomass. In the present invention, small, distributed gasifiers convert the biomass into synthesis gas (“syngas”). The syngas is then transported via a pipeline network to a central fuel production facility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2011
    Assignee: Texaco Inc.
    Inventors: Paul F. Bryan, Yunquan Liu, Curtis L. Krause
  • Patent number: 7989511
    Abstract: A process and apparatus for preparing a synthesis gas suitable for feeding to a suitable hydrocarbon production reactor, such as a Fischer Tropsch reactor is described. According to one aspect, the process and apparatus utilize heat exchangers that thermally integrate the reaction steps such that heat generated by exothermic reactions, e.g., combustion, are arranged closely to the heat sinks, e.g., cool methane, water and air, to minimize heat loss and maximize heat recovery. Effectively, this thermal integration eliminates excess piping throughout, reduces initial capital and operating costs, provides built-in passive temperature control, and improves synthesis gas production efficiencies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: Texaco Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel Glenn Casey, Lixin You, Curtis Lee Krause, Kevin Hoa Nguyen
  • Patent number: 7987877
    Abstract: In order to increase the hydrogen utilization rate of the cascade storage system, after dispensing gaseous hydrogen to a hydrogen vehicle, gaseous hydrogen is transferred via a compressor from at least one storage vessel at a lower pressure to at least one storage vessel at a higher, dispensable pressure. The methods of the present invention economically and efficiently increase the utilization rate of gaseous hydrogen stored in a cascade storage system by managing the storage of gaseous hydrogen and increasing the utilization rate of gaseous hydrogen stored in a cascade storage system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: Texaco Inc.
    Inventors: Farshad Alexander Bavarian, Dennis J. Benedetto, John Michael Brady, Daniel Glenn Casey, Dean Alan Kenefake, Charles Franklin Perdue, Jr., Hongqiao Bruce Sun
  • Patent number: 7892304
    Abstract: An apparatus for producing hydrogen having compressor motor speed control. The apparatus includes a hydrogen generator for producing a product comprising hydrogen and a compression unit for compressing the product. The hydrogen generator can include a fuel processor having an oxidizer and a reformer. The compression unit has an induction motor and means for regulating the speed of the motor. The means for regulating the speed of the motor can include a variable frequency drive or soft start device having a plurality of switches and an adjustable ramp timer. A downstream unit including one or more of a purification unit, a second compression unit, and a storage unit is disposed downstream of the compression unit. A method for producing hydrogen is provided that includes generating a product comprising hydrogen in a hydrogen generator, compressing the product in a compression unit having an induction motor and regulating the speed of the motor in response to transient operations of the hydrogen generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2011
    Assignee: Texaco Inc.
    Inventor: Masoud Hajiaghajani
  • Patent number: 7858245
    Abstract: An integrated fuel processor apparatus and enclosure for converting hydrocarbon fuel to a hydrogen rich gas. The integrated apparatus includes a fuel processor for producing a hydrogen-rich reformate that contains water and a combustible gas component. The fuel processor is enclosed in a gas impermeable enclosure that has a collection vessel for receiving water separated from the reformate stream. Methods for manufacturing an apparatus for separating water from a reformate stream for safe disposal and methods for separating water from a reformate stream for safe disposal are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2010
    Assignee: Texaco Inc.
    Inventors: William Spencer Wheat, Kenneth Joseph Bunk, Ralph Stanley Worsley
  • Patent number: 7832364
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a heat transfer unit which integrates a boiler and a gas preheater for steam generation and gas preheating. In one embodiment, the heat transfer unit of the present invention may be used in fuel processing applications. In this embodiment, the heat transfer unit may be located downstream of a combustor such as an anode tailgas oxidizer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2010
    Assignee: Texaco Inc.
    Inventor: Yunquan Liu
  • Patent number: 7829227
    Abstract: An integrated fuel processor apparatus and enclosure for converting hydrocarbon fuel to a hydrogen rich gas. The integrated apparatus includes a fuel processor for producing a hydrogen-rich reformate that contains water and a combustible gas component. The fuel processor is enclosed in a gas impermeable enclosure that has a collection vessel for receiving water separated from the reformate stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2010
    Assignee: Texaco Inc.
    Inventors: William Spencer Wheat, Kenneth Joseph Bunk, Ralph Stanley Worsley
  • Patent number: 7763085
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for producing a hydrogen-enriched reformate. The apparatus includes a fuel processor for converting a fuel to a reformate having fluctuations in pressure and or flow rate, means for reducing the fluctuations, a compression unit for compressing the reformate and one or more of a purification unit and a storage unit downstream of a compression unit. Means for reducing the fluctuations in the reformate can include one or more of a buffer and a conduit for providing a controlled flow of a supplemental fluid to an inlet of the compression unit. The supplemental fluid can include the compressed reformate, a hydrogen-enriched reformate, and mixtures thereof. The apparatus can include means for regulating power to the compression unit that can incrementally increase power to the compression unit particularly during start up. The purification unit can include one or more of a hydrogen selective membrane and a pressure swing adsorption unit. Methods for producing hydrogen are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2010
    Assignee: Texaco Inc.
    Inventors: Dean Alan Kenefake, William Spencer Wheat, Hongqiao Bruce Sun, Bhaskar Balasubramanian, Vesna Radovan Mirkovic, Daniel Glenn Casey
  • Patent number: 7647194
    Abstract: Methods for accurately and conveniently calculating the temperature of gaseous hydrogen during vehicle fueling are disclosed. The metered amount of hydrogen added to the on-board storage tank, the ambient conditions, The pressure measured at the dispenser, and a correlation to account for heat transfer are the inputs to the methods of the present invention. These inputs eliminate the need for obtaining temperature and pressure information from the vehicle which is out of the control of the dispenser and/or energy provider. In addition, the use of the equation of the present invention does not require the fill rate to be limited and the corresponding fill time to be extended.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 12, 2010
    Inventors: Daniel Glenn Casey, Jerry Max Rovner, Randy M. Roberts, Curtis Lee Krause
  • Patent number: 7578669
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a hybrid combustor, such as an anode tailgas oxidizer (ATO), for fuel processing applications which combines both flame and catalytic type burners. The hybrid combustor of the present invention combines the advantages of both flame and catalytic type burners. The flame burner component of the hybrid combustor is used during start-up for the preheating of the catalytic burner component. As soon as the catalytic burner bed is preheated or lit off, the flame burner will be shut off. Optionally, the hybrid combustor may also include an integrated heat recovery unit located downstream of the catalytic burner for steam generation and for the preheating of the feed for a reformer, such as an autothermal reformer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2009
    Assignee: Texaco Inc.
    Inventors: Yunquan Liu, Curtis L. Krause, Kevin H. Nguyen
  • Patent number: 7572304
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for the preferential oxidation of carbon monoxide in a hydrogen-rich fluid. The apparatus utilizes one or more reactors that are dimensioned to optimize the exothermic oxidation reaction and the transfer of heat to and from the catalyst bed. A reactor of the apparatus has an elongated cylindrical catalyst bed and heat transfer means adjacent the catalyst bed. The heat transfer means is suitable for pre-heating the catalyst bed during start-up operations and for removing the heat from the catalyst bed during the oxidation reaction. One or more reactors of different dimensions may be utilized depending upon the pressure of the hydrogen-rich fluid to be directed into the apparatus and the pressure requirements for the carbon monoxide-depleted fluid exiting the apparatus. For instance, in low pressure operations where it may be desirable to minimize the pressure drop across the apparatus, two or more reactors having relatively smaller dimensions can be utilized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2009
    Assignee: Texaco Inc.
    Inventors: W. Spencer Wheat, Daniel G. Casey, Curtis L. Krause, Marshall D. Wier, David W. Harrison, Sr.