Patents by Inventor Rafael L. Espinoza

Rafael L. Espinoza 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).

  • Patent number: 9358526
    Abstract: A cobalt containing catalyst supported on a metal oxide suitable for performing a Fischer-Tropsch reaction. A pore volume of a metal oxide support, before loading of cobalt thereon, is within the range of 0.35 to 0.85 cc/g. The support has an average pore diameter before the cobalt loading and reduction such that the effective average pore diameter after cobalt loading and reduction is 14 nanometers or higher. A cobalt loading of 11 weight % or higher is also provided. An alpha value higher than 0.89 in a diesel to wax weight ratio below 1.07 is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2016
    Assignee: EMERGING FUELS TECHNOLOGY, INC.
    Inventors: Rafael L. Espinoza, Kenneth L. Agee
  • Publication number: 20160074837
    Abstract: A cobalt containing catalyst supported on a metal oxide suitable for performing a Fischer-Tropsch reaction. A pore volume of a metal oxide support, before loading of cobalt thereon, is within the range of 0.35 to 0.85 cc/g. The support has an average pore diameter before the cobalt loading and reduction such that the effective average pore diameter after cobalt loading and reduction is 14 nanometers or higher. A cobalt loading of 11 weight % or higher is also provided. An alpha value higher than 0.89 in a diesel to wax weight ratio below 1.07 is provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 28, 2015
    Publication date: March 17, 2016
    Inventors: Rafael L. Espinoza, Kenneth L. Agee
  • Patent number: 9180436
    Abstract: A cobalt containing catalyst supported on a metal oxide suitable for performing a Fischer-Tropsch reaction. A pore volume of a metal oxide support, before loading of cobalt thereon, is within the range of 0.35 to 0.6 cc/g. The support has an average pore diameter before the cobalt loading and reduction such that the effective average pore diameter after cobalt loading and reduction is 14 nanometers or higher. A cobalt loading of 11 weight % or higher is also provided. An alpha value higher than 0.89 in a diesel to wax weight ratio below 1.07 is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Assignee: Emerging Fuels Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Rafael L. Espinoza, Kenneth L. Agee
  • Patent number: 9062257
    Abstract: A process for converting carbonaceous materials or light hydrocarbon gases into products comprising predominately C5+ hydrocarbons. The process converts the feedstock into synthesis gas comprising hydrogen and carbon monoxide and then uses the Fischer-Tropsch reaction to produce heavy hydrocarbons. A small excess of hydrogen is produced in the syngas generator or by water gas shift for use in product upgrading and for blending with Fischer-Tropsch tail gas for recycle back to syngas generation. A portion of the Fischer-Tropsch tail gas is used as fuel, thus purging combustible light gases and CO2 from the tail gas. Hydrogen rich purge gas is blended into the remaining tail gas resulting in a recycle stream that is returned to the syngas generator. The tail gas components are therefore efficiently used to produce more products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2015
    Assignee: EMERGING FUELS TECHNOLOGY, INC.
    Inventors: Kenneth L. Agee, Kym B. Arcuri, Rafael L. Espinoza
  • Patent number: 7541310
    Abstract: This invention relates to catalysts comprising a catalytic metal deposited on a composite support with well-dispersed chemical “anchor” species acting as nucleation centers for catalytic metal crystallites growth. The catalysts have the advantage that the average catalytic metal crystallite size can be controlled by the molar ratio of catalytic metal to chemical “anchor,” and is not limited by the porous structure of the support. A preferred embodiment comprises a cobalt-based catalyst on a silica-alumina support made by a co-gel method, wherein its average pore size can be controlled by the pH. The alumina species in the support most likely serve as chemical “anchors” to control the dispersion of cobalt species, such that the average cobalt crystallite size can be greater than the average pore size.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2009
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Rafael L. Espinoza, Kandaswamy Jothimurugesan, Kevin L. Coy, James Dale Ortego, Jr., Nithya Srinivasan, Olga P. Ionkina
  • Patent number: 7541504
    Abstract: The invention relates to methods for improving the octane number of a synthetic naphtha stream and optionally for producing olefins and/or solvents. In one embodiment, the method comprises aromatizing at least a portion of a synthetic naphtha stream to produce an aromatized hydrocarbon stream; and isomerizing at least a portion of the aromatized hydrocarbon stream to produce an isomerized aromatized hydrocarbon stream having a higher octane rating than the synthetic naphtha stream. Alternatively, the method comprises providing at least three synthetic naphtha cuts comprising a C4-C5 stream; a C6-C8 stream and a C9-C11 stream; aromatizing some of the C6-C8 stream to form an aromatized hydrocarbon stream with a higher octane number; steam cracking some of the C6-C8 stream and optionally the C9-C11 stream to form olefins; and selling some portions of C9-C11 stream as solvents. In preferred embodiments, the synthetic naphtha is derived from Fischer-Tropsch synthesis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2009
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Priya Rangarajan, Steven R. McDonald, Joe D. Allison, Keith H. Lawson, Oluwaseyi A. Odueyungbo, Doug S. Jack, Rafael L. Espinoza
  • Patent number: 7449496
    Abstract: A stabilized catalyst support having improved hydrothermal stability, catalyst made therefrom, and method for producing hydrocarbons from synthesis gas using said catalyst. The stabilized support is made by a method comprising treating a crystalline hydrous alumina precursor in contact with at least one structural stabilizer or compound thereof. The crystalline hydrous alumina precursor preferably includes an average crystallite size selected from an optimum range delimited by desired hydrothermal resistance and desired porosity. The crystalline hydrous alumina precursor preferably includes an alumina hydroxide, such as crystalline boehmite, crystalline bayerite, or a plurality thereof differing in average crystallite sizes by at least about 1 nm. The crystalline hydrous alumina precursor may be shaped before or after contact with the structural stabilizer or compound thereof. The treating includes calcining at 450° C. or more.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2008
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Yaming Jin, Kandaswamy Jothimurugesan, Kristi A. Fjare, J. Dale Ortego, Jr., Beatrice C. Ortego, Rafael L. Espinoza
  • Patent number: 7402612
    Abstract: This invention relates to methods for making a stabilized transition alumina of enhanced hydrothermal stability, which include the introduction of at least one structural stabilizer; a steaming step before or after the introduction step, wherein steaming is effective in transforming a transition alumina at least partially to boehmite and/or pseudoboehmite; and a calcining step to create a stabilized transition alumina. The combination of the structural stabilizer and the steaming step is believed to impart high hydrothermal stability to the alumina crystal lattice. Particularly preferred structural stabilizers include boron, cobalt, and zirconium. The stabilized transition alumina is useful as a catalyst support for high water partial pressure environments, and is particularly useful for making a catalyst having improved hydrothermal stability. The invention more specifically discloses Fischer-Tropsch catalysts and processes for the production of hydrocarbons from synthesis gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2008
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Yaming Jin, Rafael L. Espinoza, Nithya Srinivasan, Olga P. Ionkina
  • Patent number: 7354507
    Abstract: The present invention is generally related towards enhancing the yield and/or cold-flow properties of certain hydrocarbon products, increasing the degree of isomerization in a diesel product and/or increasing the production rate of a diesel product. The embodiments generally include reducing the residence time of lighter hydrocarbon fractions during hydrocracking, thereby decreasing secondary cracking, by various configurations of introducing at least two hydrocarbon feedstreams of different boiling ranges at different entry points in a hydrocracking unit. A method further includes forming a hydrocarbons stream comprising primarily C5+ Fischer-Tropsch hydrocarbon products; fractionating hydrocarbons stream to form at least a wax fraction and an intermediate fraction which serve as separate feedstreams to a hydrocracking unit comprising at least two hydroconversion zones.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2008
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Sridhar Gopalakrishnan, Vincent H. Melquist, Rafael L. Espinoza, Doug S. Jack, Keith Henry Lawson
  • Patent number: 7345211
    Abstract: The invention includes a process for producing synthetic middle distillates and synthetic middle distillates produced therefrom. In one embodiment, the process comprises fractionating a hydrocarbon synthesis product to at least generate a light middle distillate, a heavy middle distillate, and a waxy fraction; thermally cracking the waxy fraction; and isomerizing the heavy middle distillate. A synthetic diesel or blending component is formed by the combination of at least a portion of the light middle distillate; at least a portion or fraction of the thermally cracked product; and at least a portion or fraction of the isomerized product. In some embodiments, the hydrocarbon synthesis product and/or the thermally cracked product may be hydrotreated. In other embodiments, a synthetic middle distillate comprises at least two fractions: a light fraction with not more than 10% branched hydrocarbons, and a heavy fraction with at least 30% branched hydrocarbons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2008
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Rafael L. Espinoza, Keith H. Lawson
  • Patent number: 7341976
    Abstract: A stabilized catalyst support having improved hydrothermal stability, catalyst made therefrom, and method for producing hydrocarbons from synthesis gas using said catalyst. The stabilized support is made by a method comprising treating a crystalline hydrous alumina precursor in contact with at least one structural stabilizer or compound thereof. The crystalline hydrous alumina precursor preferably includes an average crystallite size selected from an optimum range delimited by desired hydrothermal resistance and desired porosity. The crystalline hydrous alumina precursor preferably includes an alumina hydroxide, such as crystalline boehmite, crystalline bayerite, or a plurality thereof differing in average crystallite sizes by at least about 1 nm. The crystalline hydrous alumina precursor may be shaped before or after contact with the structural stabilizer or compound thereof. The treating includes calcining at 450° C. or more.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2008
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Rafael L. Espinoza, Kandaswamy Jothimurugesan, Yaming Jin, J. Dale Ortego, Jr., Kristi A. Fjare, Beatrice C. Ortego
  • Patent number: 7323100
    Abstract: An amorphous support, methods for making the same and methods of using, particularly in hydrocracking. A method of making may comprise mixing a first amorphous material and a second amorphous material of different acidities to form a mixture, and treating by either separately treating the first and second amorphous materials before mixing or treating the mixture, so as to form an amorphous catalyst support. Treating preferably includes calcining. The acidity of the amorphous support may be modified by the different acidities of the precursor amorphous materials, their proportions in the mixture, and/or the order of the mixing and treating steps. A method of use may comprise reacting a hydrocarbon fraction with hydrogen over a hydrocracking catalyst comprising the amorphous catalyst support to form a hydrocracked product. Further embodiments include the first and second amorphous materials comprising silica-alumina, and/or differing in Brönsted acidity, Lewis acidity, or acidity index.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2008
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Rafael L. Espinoza, Keith H. Lawson, Kandaswamy Jothimurugesan
  • Patent number: 7282139
    Abstract: A method for optimal production of synthetic diesel and naphtha from a hydrocracker includes hydrocracking a synthetic heavy hydrocarbon feed comprising an ? value so as to form a diesel and a naphtha; selecting a desired diesel-to-naphtha ratio; calculating, based on the feed ? and the desired diesel-to-naphtha ratio, a target molar ratio of hydrocarbons exiting to hydrocarbons entering the hydrocracker; and adjusting at least one hydrocracking conversion promoting condition so as to achieve said target molar ratio. The present invention further relates to a method for adjusting the overall production of a syngas-to-synthetic hydrocarbons plant in response to market conditions, comprising adjusting at least one hydrocracking conversion promoting condition and/or at least one conversion promoting condition within a Fischer-Tropsch reactor so as to maintain the overall diesel-to-naphtha ratio or to maintain a diesel production rate within a predetermined range of a desired value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2007
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Rafael L. Espinoza, Keith H. Lawson, Jianping Zhang
  • Patent number: 7276540
    Abstract: The present invention relates to thermally stable, high surface area alumina supports and a method of preparing such supports with at least one modifying agent. The method includes adding an aluminum modifying agent to the alumina prior to calcining. The inventive support has thermal stability at temperatures above 800° C. A more specific embodiment of the invention is a catalyst having a high surface area, thermally stable alumina support with at least one group VIII metal or rhenium and an optional promoter loaded onto the support. The present invention further relates to gas-to-liquids conversion processes, more specifically for producing C5+ hydrocarbons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2007
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Rafael L. Espinoza, Dan Fraenkel, Kevin L. Coy
  • Patent number: 7232848
    Abstract: An apparatus for converting a gaseous and/or liquid feed fluid to gaseous and/or liquid products using a solid catalyst comprises a reactor, a liquid phase disposed within the reactor volume, a fixed catalyst at least partially disposed in the liquid phase, a cooling system having a cooling element in thermal contact with the liquid phase, a feed inlet positioned to feed the feed fluid into the reactor volume, and a fluid outlet in fluid communication with the liquid phase. The catalyst is contained in a catalyst container and the container may be adjacent to said cooling element, extend through said cooling element, or may surround the catalyst container. The catalyst may be a Fischer-Tropsch catalyst.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2007
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Sergio R. Mohedas, Rafael L. Espinoza, Jianping Zhang
  • Patent number: 7230035
    Abstract: The present invention relates to improved catalyst compositions, as well as methods of making and using such compositions to prepare synthesis gas and ultimately C5+ hydrocarbons. In particular, preferred embodiments of the present invention comprise catalyst systems comprising a core and an outer region disposed on said core, wherein a substantial amount of the catalytic metal is located in the outer region of the catalyst support matrix. In addition, the catalyst systems are able to maintain high conversion and selectivity values with very low catalytically active metal loadings. The catalyst systems are appropriate for improved syngas, oxidative dehydrogenation and other partial oxidation reactions, including improved reaction schemes for the conversion of hydrocarbon gas to C5+ hydrocarbons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2007
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Rafael L. Espinoza, Kandaswamy Jothimurugesan, Tianyan Niu, Harold A. Wright, Shuibo Xie, Mary E. Wolf
  • Patent number: 7230034
    Abstract: The invention relates to methods for prevention of and recovery from a catalyst bed slumping in a gas-agitated multiphase hydrocarbon synthesis reactor, while the reactor is either under non-reactive conditions or under reaction promoting conditions when syngas is converted to products. The reactor contains a catalyst bed comprising catalyst particles and a gas injection zone suitable for injecting a reactor gas feed. A method for preventing bed slumping comprises supplying a supplemental gas to the gas-agitated multiphase reactor to prevent the catalyst bed from slumping due to insufficient reactor gas feed flow. The method may include recycling some or all of the supplemental gas to the reactor. The method may further comprise separating the gas injection zone from the catalyst bed with a porous plate so as to prevent migration of catalyst particles into the gas injection zone and to minimize plugging of gas distributor(s) present in said zone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2007
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Sergio R. Mohedas, Rafael L. Espinoza, Jack E. Cnossen, Todd H. Harkins, Vincent H. Melquist, Larry D. Swinney
  • Patent number: 7186757
    Abstract: An effective catalyst includes an amorphous silica-alumina support having a bimodal pore size-distribution. The support may be prepared by a method that includes the physical mixing of two silica-alumina gels prepared so as to have two different average pore sizes. The catalyst has the advantage that both metal dispersion on the support and product diffusion in the pores are optimized. Further, the catalyst has improved performance in the production of hydrocarbons from synthesis gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2007
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Rafael L. Espinoza, Kandaswamy Jothimurugesan, Kevin L. Coy
  • Patent number: 7183327
    Abstract: A method for selecting maximum and minimum catalyst particle sizes for use in a multiphase reactor that reflects optimum operating conditions of the reactor is based on a maximum Archimedes number for estimating the maximum particle size and a property of a separation system linked to the reactor to determine the minimum particle size. The maximum Archimedes number could be selected based on a maximum catalyst non-uniformity in the reactor. Additionally, a method for producing hydrocarbons from syngas in a slurry bubble column reactor comprises the use of a plurality of fresh catalyst particles with an optimum size distribution based on a range of Archimedes numbers between about 0.02 and 250 or alternatively based on an average Reynolds number less than about 0.1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2007
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Rafael L. Espinoza, Oluwaseyi A. Odueyungbo, Jianping Zhang, Sergio R. Mohedas
  • Patent number: 7176160
    Abstract: A method is provided for forming a highly active Fischer-Tropsch catalyst using boehmite having a particular crystallite size. In this method, a support material comprising boehmite is contacted with a catalytic metal-containing compound to form a catalyst precursor. The boehmite is selected to have an average crystallite size in the range of from about 6 nanometers (nm) to about 30 nm. An alternate embodiment uses a mixture of boehmites with various average crystallite sizes in the range of from about 4 nm to about 30 nm, differing by at least by 1 nm. Subsequently, the catalyst precursor is calcined to convert the boehmite to a stabilized aluminum oxide structure, thereby forming a catalyst support having a good attrition resistance and a relatively high hydrothermal stability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2007
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Rafael L. Espinoza, Kandaswamy Jothimurugesan, Yaming Jin