Patents by Inventor Keith H. Kuechler

Keith H. Kuechler has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20210017104
    Abstract: A method for washing an oligomerization reactor using by-product solvent recovered from the reactor can include: catalytically converting a monomer in a reactor section in a reaction mode in the presence of a catalyst to form a product stream comprising an oligomer, a by-product solvent, and a polymeric by-product; separating the product stream into a first fraction comprising the oligomer and a second fraction comprising a mixture of the by-product solvent and the polymeric by-product; and separating, in a thin film evaporator, the second fraction into a third fraction comprising the by-product solvent and a fourth fraction comprising the polymeric by-product.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 22, 2020
    Publication date: January 21, 2021
    Inventors: Michael W. Weber, Larry L. Iaccino, Keith H. Kuechler, John S. Coleman, Jay L. Reimers
  • Patent number: 10294178
    Abstract: In a process for separating a mixture comprising cyclohexanone and phenol, a solid-phase basic material, such as basic ion-exchange resin, is used to remove acid and/or sulfur from the mixture prior to separation. The process results in reduced amount of contamination such as cyclic ethers in the cyclohexanone and/or phenol products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Keith H. Kuechler, Jörg F. W. Weber, Ashley J. Poucher, Jason D. Davis
  • Patent number: 10053408
    Abstract: Disclosed are processes for making cyclohexanone from a mixture comprising phenol, cyclohexanone, cyclohexylbenzene, and an S-containing component, comprising a step of removing at least a portion of the S-containing component to reduce poisoning of a hydrogenation catalyst used for hydrogenating phenol to cyclohexanone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2018
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Keith H. Kuechler, Jörg F. W. Weber, Ashley J. Poucher, Jason D. Davis, Christopher L. Becker, Jihad M. Dakka
  • Publication number: 20180065903
    Abstract: In a process for separating a mixture comprising cyclohexanone and phenol, a solid-phase basic material, such as basic ion-exchange resin, is used to remove acid and/or sulfur from the mixture prior to separation. The process results in reduced amount of contamination such as cyclic ethers in the cyclohexanone and/or phenol products.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 15, 2016
    Publication date: March 8, 2018
    Inventors: Keith H. Kuechler, Jörg F.W. Weber, Ashley J. Poucher, Jason D. Davis
  • Patent number: 9815759
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a process for producing phenol. The process includes oxidizing at least a portion of a feed comprising cyclohexylbenzene to produce an oxidation composition comprising cyclohexyl-1-phenyl-1-hydroperoxide. The oxidation composition may then be cleaved in the presence of an acid catalyst to produce a cleavage reaction mixture comprising the acid catalyst, phenol and cyclohexanone. At least a portion of the cleavage reaction mixture may be neutralized with a basic material to form a treated cleavage reaction mixture. In various embodiments, the treated cleavage reaction mixture contains no greater than 50 wppm of the acid catalyst or no greater than 50 wppm of the basic material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Keith H. Kuechler, Francisco M. Benitez, Kun Wang, James R. Lattner, Christopher L. Becker
  • Publication number: 20170275226
    Abstract: Disclosed are processes for making cyclohexanone from a mixture comprising phenol, cyclohexanone, cyclohexylbenzene, and an S-containing component, comprising a step of removing at least a portion of the S-containing component to reduce poisoning of a hydrogenation catalyst used for hydrogenating phenol to cyclohexanone.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 3, 2015
    Publication date: September 28, 2017
    Inventors: Keith H. Kuechler, Jörg F.W. Weber, Ashley J. Poucher, Jason D. Davis, Christopher L. Becker, Jihad M. Dakka
  • Patent number: 9718744
    Abstract: Disclosed is a hydroalkylation process in which the hydroalkylation catalyst is activated in the presence of a flowing fluid comprising hydrogen and a condensable agent. The presence of the condensable agent enables fast, effective activation of the hydroalkylation catalyst precursor in a cost-effective manner. It also yields superior catalyst performance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Gabor Kiss, Thomas E. Green, Keith H. Kuechler
  • Patent number: 9663430
    Abstract: A process for making phenol and/or cyclohexanone, the process comprising: (A) oxidizing a cyclohexylbenzene feed to obtain an oxidation product comprising cyclohexylbenzene, cyclohexylbenzene hydroperoxide and water; (B) removing at least a portion of the water from at least a portion of the oxidation product to obtain a cleavage feed; and (C) contacting at least a portion of the cyclohexylbenzene hydroperoxide in the cleavage feed with an acid catalyst in a cleavage reactor under cleavage conditions to obtain a cleavage product comprising phenol and cyclohexanone. The removing step may also comprises a step of removing a portion of the cyclohexylbenzene contained in the oxidation product. Water removal may be advantageously conducted in a water flashing drum before a cyclohexylbenzene hydroperoxide concentrator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Francisco M. Benitez, Christopher L. Becker, Keith H. Kuechler, Jason D. Davis
  • Patent number: 9579632
    Abstract: A catalyst composition comprises (i) a support; (ii) a dehydrogenation component comprising at least one metal or compound thereof selected from Groups 6 to 10 of the Periodic Table of Elements; and (iii) tin or a tin compound, wherein the tin is present in an amount of 0.01 wt % to about 0.25 wt %, the wt % based upon the total weight of the catalyst composition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Jihad M. Dakka, Lorenzo C. DeCaul, Terry E. Helton, Keith H. Kuechler, Jenna L. Wallace
  • Publication number: 20160368844
    Abstract: In a process for producing a mixture of cyclohexanone and cyclohexanol, a feed comprising cyclohexanone is contacted with hydrogen in the presence of a hydrogenation catalyst under hydrogenation conditions effective to convert part of the cyclohexanone in the feed into cyclohexanol and thereby produce a hydrogenation product containing cyclohexanone and cyclohexanol. A mixture of cyclohexanone and cyclohexanol is then obtained from the hydrogenation product.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 7, 2014
    Publication date: December 22, 2016
    Inventors: Jihad M. Dakka, Charles M. Smith, Kun Wang, Francisco M. Benitez, Roberto Garcia, John W. Chu, Keith H. Kuechler, Chuansheng Bai
  • Patent number: 9475745
    Abstract: In a process for producing phenol and cyclohexanone, a cleavage feed containing greater than 40 wt % and no greater than 95 wt % cyclohexyl-1-phenyl-1-hydroperoxide, and at least 5 wt % and less than 60 wt % cyclohexylbenzene is mixed with at least phenol, cyclohexanone, water, and sulfuric acid to produce a cleavage reaction mixture containing from 15 wt % to 50 wt % phenol, from 15 wt % to 50 wt % cyclohexanone, from 1 wt % to 10 wt % cyclohexyl-1-phenyl-1-hydroperoxide, from 5 wt % to 60 wt % cyclohexylbenzene, from 0.1 wt % to 4 wt % water, and from 10 wppm to 1000 wppm sulfuric acid. The cleavage reaction mixture is then reacted at a temperature from 30° C. and to 70° C., and a pressure of at least 1 atmosphere for a time sufficient to convert at least 50% of said cyclohexyl-1-phenyl-1-hydroperoxide in said cleavage reaction mixture and produce a cleavage effluent containing phenol and cyclohexanone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2016
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Keith H. Kuechler, Charles Morris Smith, Francisco M. Benitez, Kun Wang, Hari Nair, Travis A. Reine, Gabor Kiss, Roberto Garcia, Christopher L. Becker
  • Patent number: 9464020
    Abstract: In a process for separating a mixture comprising cyclohexanone and phenol, at least a portion of the mixture is distilled in the presence of a solvent including at least two alcoholic hydroxyl groups attached to non-adjacent saturated carbon atoms and at least one hemiketal defined by the formula (I) or the formula (II): wherein R1, the same or different at each occurrence, is independently an alkylene group having from 2 to 10 carbon atoms, R2 is an alkylene group having from 4 to 10 carbon atoms, and R3 is hydrogen or the following group: and/or an enol-ether derived from the hemiketal defined by the formula (I) or the formula (II), wherein the total concentration of the hemiketal and the enol-ether, expressed in terms of weight percentage on the basis of the total weight of the feed to the distilling step (a), is at least 0.01%.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2016
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Keith H. Kuechler, Francisco M. Benitez, Krystle J. Emanuele, Christopher L. Becker, John L. Heidman, Jr.
  • Patent number: 9464166
    Abstract: In a process for producing 3,4? and/or 4,4? dimethyl-substituted biphenyl compounds, a feed comprising toluene is contacted with hydrogen in the presence of a hydroalkylation catalyst under conditions effective to produce a hydroalkylation reaction product comprising (methylcyclohexyl)toluenes. At least part of the hydroalkylation reaction product is dehydrogenated in the presence of a dehydrogenation catalyst under conditions effective to produce a dehydrogenation reaction product comprising a mixture of dimethyl-substituted biphenyl isomers. The dehydrogenation reaction product is then separated into at least a first stream containing at least 50% of 3,4? and 4,4? dimethylbiphenyl isomers by weight of the first stream and at least one second stream comprising one or more 2,x? (where x? is 2?, 3?, or 4?) and 3,3? dimethylbiphenyl isomers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2016
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Jihad M. Dakka, Lorenzo C. DeCaul, Keith H. Kuechler, Neeraj Sangar, Michael Salciccioli, Alan A. Galuska, Gary D. Mohr
  • Patent number: 9458067
    Abstract: In a process for producing cyclohexylbenzene, hydrogen and benzene are introduced to a first hydroalkylation reaction zone which contains a hydroalkylation catalyst and which is operated under at least partly liquid phase conditions sufficient to effect hydroalkylation of benzene to produce a mixed liquid/vapor phase effluent comprising cyclohexylbenzene and unreacted benzene, wherein at least a portion of the unreacted benzene is in the vapor phase. At least a portion of the effluent is cooled to condense a liquid phase stream containing at least some of the cyclohexylbenzene in the effluent portion and leave a residual stream containing at least some of the unreacted benzene and cyclohexylbenzene. At least a portion of the liquid stream is recycled to the first hydroalkylation reaction zone or to contact the mixed phase effluent exiting the first hydroalkylation reaction zone. Other methods of cooling the reaction effluent are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2016
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher L. Becker, Hari Nair, James R. Lattner, Keith H. Kuechler
  • Patent number: 9458074
    Abstract: In a process for producing phenol, benzene is reacted with a source of hydrogen containing methane in the presence of a hydroalkylation catalyst under conditions effective to produce a hydroalkylation reaction effluent comprising cyclohexylbenzene, benzene, hydrogen, and methane. A first stream comprising hydrogen, methane, and benzene is removed from the hydroalkylation reaction effluent and the first stream is washed with a second stream containing cyclohexylbenzene to produce a benzene-depleted hydrogen stream containing hydrogen and methane and a wash stream containing cyclohexylbenzene and benzene.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2016
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher L. Becker, James R. Lattner, Keith H. Kuechler, Hari Nair
  • Patent number: 9452965
    Abstract: A process for producing phenol and/or cyclohexanone is described in which cyclohexylbenzene is contacted with an oxygen-containing gas under conditions effective to produce an oxidation effluent comprising cyclohexylbenzene hydroperoxide and at least part of cyclohexylbenzene hydroperoxide is contacted with a cleavage catalyst under conditions effective to produce a cleavage effluent containing phenol and cyclohexanone. At least one of the oxidation effluent and the cleavage effluent contains at least one phenylcyclohexanol as a by-product and the process further comprises contacting the phenylcyclohexanol with a dehydration catalyst comprising a molecular sieve of the MCM-22 family under conditions effective to convert at least part of the phenylcyclohexanol to phenylcyclohexene.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2016
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Jihad M. Dakka, Charles Morris Smith, Keith H. Kuechler, Christopher L. Becker, Terry E. Helton, Jason D. Davis, Edmund J. Mozeleski
  • Publication number: 20160251288
    Abstract: A process for making phenol and/or cyclohexanone, the process comprising: (A) oxidizing a cyclohexylbenzene feed to obtain an oxidation product comprising cyclohexylbenzene, cyclohexylbenzene hydroperoxide and water; (B) removing at least a portion of the water from at least a portion of the oxidation product to obtain a cleavage feed; and (C) contacting at least a portion of the cyclohexylbenzene hydroperoxide in the cleavage feed with an acid catalyst in a cleavage reactor under cleavage conditions to obtain a cleavage product comprising phenol and cyclohexanone. The removing step may also comprises a step of removing a portion of the cyclohexylbenzene contained in the oxidation product. Water removal may be advantageously conducted in a water flashing drum before a cyclohexylbenzene hydroperoxide concentrator.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 27, 2014
    Publication date: September 1, 2016
    Inventors: Francisco M. Benitez, Christopher L. Becker, Keith H. Kuechler, Jason D. Davis
  • Publication number: 20160229767
    Abstract: Disclosed is a hydroalkylation process in which the hydroalkylation catalyst is activated in the presence of a flowing fluid comprising hydrogen and a condensable agent. The presence of the condensable agent enables fast, effective activation of the hydroalkylation catalyst precursor in a cost-effective manner. It also yields superior catalyst performance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 26, 2014
    Publication date: August 11, 2016
    Inventors: Gabor Kiss, Thomas E. Green, Keith H. Kuechler
  • Patent number: 9382172
    Abstract: In a process for producing cyclohexylbenzene, benzene is contacted with hydrogen in the presence of a hydroalkylation catalyst under hydroalkylation conditions effective to form a first effluent stream comprising cyclohexylbenzene, cyclohexane, and benzene. At least a portion of the cyclohexane from the first effluent stream is then contacted with hydrogen in the presence of a dehydrogenation catalyst under dehydrogenation conditions effective to convert at least some of the cyclohexane into benzene contained in a second effluent stream. At least some of the hydrogen is supplied to the process so as to contact the dehydrogenation zone (e.g., the dehydrogenation catalyst) before contacting the hydroalkylation catalyst.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2016
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher L. Becker, James R. Lattner, Keith H. Kuechler, Hari Nair
  • Patent number: 9365467
    Abstract: In a process for producing cyclohexylbenzene, benzene is contacted with hydrogen under hydroalkylation conditions effective to form a first effluent stream comprising cyclohexylbenzene, cyclohexane, methylcyclopentane, and unreacted benzene. At least a portion of the first effluent stream is contacted with a dehydrogenation catalyst under dehydrogenation conditions to convert at least a portion of the cyclohexane to benzene thereby forming a second effluent stream. The amount of methylcyclopentane in the second effluent stream is different by no more than 65% of the total amount of the portion of the first effluent stream, said amounts being on a weight basis. A methylcyclopentane-containing stream is removed from either the first or the second effluent stream and at least a portion of the second effluent stream containing benzene is recycled to the hydroalkylation step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Keith H. Kuechler, James R. Lattner, Christopher L. Becker, Jihad M. Dakka, Tan-Jen Chen