Patents by Inventor Shekar Balagopal

Shekar Balagopal 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: 20210094839
    Abstract: An electrolytic cell and method for synthesizing ammonia by utilizing a lithium selective membrane in the electrolytic cell and providing at least one lithium halogen salt as an electrolyte in the electrochemical process of producing ammonia. The reaction utilizes a hydrogen halide or hydrogen sulfide as a hydrogen oxidant in the process, and allows the regeneration of lithium halide salts that can be recycled back into the cell reaction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 22, 2019
    Publication date: April 1, 2021
    Inventors: Fernando GARZON, Shekar BALAGOPAL
  • Patent number: 10916819
    Abstract: A multi-stage sodium heat engine is provided to convert thermal energy to electrical energy, the multi-stage sodium heat engine including at least a first stage, a second stage, and an electrical circuit operatively connecting the first stage and the second stage with an electrical load. One or more methods of powering an electrical load using a multi-stage sodium heat engine are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2021
    Assignee: Enlighten Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: Shekar Balagopal, Ashok V. Joshi, Sanil John
  • Patent number: 9631285
    Abstract: A process is provided for synthesizing synthesis gas from carbon dioxide obtained from atmospheric air or other available carbon dioxide source and water using a sodium-conducting electrochemical cell. Synthesis gas is also produced by the coelectrolysis of carbon dioxide and steam in a solid oxide fuel cell or solid oxide electrolytic cell. The synthesis gas produced may then be further processed and eventually converted into a liquid fuel suitable for transportation or other applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: CERAMATEC, INC.
    Inventors: Joseph J. Hartvigsen, Ashok V. Joshi, S. Elangovan, Shekar Balagopal, John Howard Gordon, Michele Hollist
  • Publication number: 20170084970
    Abstract: A multi-stage sodium heat engine is provided to convert thermal energy to electrical energy, the multi-stage sodium heat engine including at least a first stage, a second stage, and an electrical circuit operatively connecting the first stage and the second stage with an electrical load. One or more methods of powering an electrical load using a multi-stage sodium heat engine are also described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 22, 2016
    Publication date: March 23, 2017
    Inventors: Shekar Balagopal, Ashok V. Joshi, Sanil John
  • Patent number: 9039918
    Abstract: Lithium-ion-conducting ceramic materials are disclosed having characteristics of high lithium-ion conductivity at low temperatures, good current efficiency, and stability in water and corrosive media under static and electrochemical conditions. Some general formulas for the lithium-ion-conducting materials include MI1+x+z??MIIIxMIVayMIVb2?x?yMVzP3?zO12 and MI1+x+4z??MIIIxMIVayMIVb2?x?y?zP3O12, wherein MI comprises Li, Na, or mixtures thereof; 0.05<x<0.5, 0.05<y<2, 0?z<3, and 0??<0.5; MIII comprises Al, Hf, Sc, Y, La, or mixtures thereof; MIVa comprises Zr, Ge, Sn, or mixtures thereof; MIVb comprises Ti; and MV comprises Si, Ge, Sn, or mixtures thereof. In some cases, the lithium-ion conducting materials are formed through a process in which the materials' powdered precursors are milled after being calcined and before being sintered. The milling process may include using milling media of multiple sizes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: CERAMATEC, INC.
    Inventors: Shekar Balagopal, Roger Marc Flinders, Spencer Jackman
  • Publication number: 20140197351
    Abstract: Lithium-ion-conducting ceramic materials are disclosed having characteristics of high lithium-ion conductivity at low temperatures, good current efficiency, and stability in water and corrosive media under static and electrochemical conditions. Some general formulas for the lithium-ion-conducting materials include MI1+x+z-?MIIIxMIVayMIVb2-x-yMVzP3-zO12 and MI1+x+4z-?MIIIxMIVayMIVb2-x-y-zP3O12, wherein MI comprises Li, Na, or mixtures thereof; 0.05<x<0.5, 0.05<y<2, 0?z<3, and 0??<0.5; MIII comprises Al, Hf, Sc, Y, La, or mixtures thereof; MIVa comprises Zr, Ge, Sn, or mixtures thereof; MIVb comprises Ti; and MV comprises Si, Ge, Sn, or mixtures thereof. In some cases, the lithium-ion conducting materials are formed through a process in which the materials' powdered precursors are milled after being calcined and before being sintered. The milling process may include using milling media of multiple sizes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 16, 2013
    Publication date: July 17, 2014
    Inventors: Shekar Balagopal, Roeger Marc Flinders, Spencer Jackman
  • Patent number: 8506790
    Abstract: Disclosed are electrolytic cells for making solutions of metal alcoholates in their corresponding alcohols using an electrolytic process. In one embodiment, sodium methylate in methanol is made from methanol and sodium hydroxide solution. The sodium hydroxide solution is placed in the anolyte compartment and the methanol is placed in the catholyte compartment, and the two compartments are separated by a ceramic membrane that selectively transports sodium under the influence of current. In preferred embodiments, the process is cost-effective and not environmentally harmful.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Inventors: Shekar Balagopal, Vigod Matheda
  • Publication number: 20130048509
    Abstract: A method for producing an alkali metal hydroxide, comprises providing an electrolytic cell that includes at least one membrane having ceramic material configured to selectively transport alkali metal ions. The method includes introducing a first solution comprising an alkali metal hydroxide solution into a catholyte compartment such that said first solution is in communication with the membrane and a cathode. A second solution comprising at least one alkali metal salt and one or more monovalent, divalent, or multivalent metal salts is introduced into an anolyte compartment such that said second solution is in communication with the membrane and an anode. The method includes applying an electric potential to the electrolytic cell such that alkali metal ions pass through the membrane and are available to undertake a chemical reaction with hydroxyl ions in the catholyte compartment to form alkali metal hydroxide.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 31, 2011
    Publication date: February 28, 2013
    Inventors: Shekar Balagopal, Marc Flinders, Justin Pendelton
  • Patent number: 8382974
    Abstract: A sodium sensor to measure a concentration of sodium methylate in methanol. The sensor assembly includes a solid alkali ion conducting membrane, a reference electrode, and a measurement electrode. The solid alkali ion conducting membrane transports ions between two alkali-containing solutions, including an aqueous solution and a non-aqueous solution. The reference electrode is at least partially within an alkali halide solution of a known alkali concentration on a first side of the solid alkali ion conducting membrane. The measurement electrode is on a second side of the solid alkali ion conducting membrane. The measurement electrode exhibits a measurable electrical characteristic corresponding to a measured alkali concentration within the non-aqueous solution, to which the measurement electrode is exposed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: Ceramatec, Inc.
    Inventors: Sai Bhavaraju, Shekar Balagopal, Justin Pendelton, Peter Wall
  • Publication number: 20120292200
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for separating aqueous solution of alkali aluminate into alkali hydroxide and aluminate hydroxide are disclosed. These methods are enabled by the use of alkali ion conductive membranes in electrolytic cells that are chemically stable and alkali ion selective. The alkali ion conductive membrane includes a chemically stable ionic-selective cation membrane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 31, 2012
    Publication date: November 22, 2012
    Inventors: Shekar Balagopal, Kean Duffey
  • Patent number: 8268159
    Abstract: An electrochemical process for the production of sodium hypochlorite is disclosed. The process may potentially be used to produce sodium hypochlorite from seawater or low purity un-softened or NaCl-based salt solutions. The process utilizes a sodium ion conductive ceramic membrane, such as membranes based on NASICON-type materials, in an electrolytic cell. In the process, water is reduced at a cathode to form hydroxyl ions and hydrogen gas. Chloride ions from a sodium chloride solution are oxidized in the anolyte compartment to produce chlorine gas which reacts with water to produce hypochlorous and hydrochloric acid. Sodium ions are transported from the anolyte compartment to the catholyte compartment across the sodium ion conductive ceramic membrane. Sodium hydroxide is transported from the catholyte compartment to the anolyte compartment to produce sodium hypochlorite within the anolyte compartment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2012
    Assignee: Ceramatec, Inc.
    Inventors: Shekar Balagopal, Vinod Malhotra, Justin Pendleton, Kathy Jo Reid
  • Patent number: 8262872
    Abstract: Electrochemical apparatus and processes for the point-of-use production of cleansing, sanitizing, and antimicrobial agents, such as sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) or hypochlorous acid (HOCl). The processes may be used to produce NaOCl from seawater, low purity un-softened or NaCl-based salt solutions. HOCl may be produced from HCl solutions and water. NaOCl is produced using a sodium ion conductive ceramic membrane, such as membranes based on NASICON-type materials, in an electrolytic cell. HOCl is produced using an anion conductive membrane in an electrolytic cell. The cleansing, sanitizing, and antimicrobial agent may be generated on demand and used in household, industrial, and water treatment applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: Ceramatec, Inc.
    Inventors: Ashok V. Joshi, Shekar Balagopal
  • Patent number: 8246863
    Abstract: Metal ion conducting ceramic materials are disclosed having characteristics of high ion conductivity for certain alkali and monovalent metal ions at low temperatures, high selectivity for the metal ions, good current efficiency and stability in water and corrosive media under static and electrochemical conditions. The metal ion conducting ceramic materials are fabricated to be deficient in the metal ion. One general formulation of the metal ion conducting ceramic materials is Me1+x+y?zMIIIyMIV2?ySixP3?xO12?z/2, wherein Me is Na+, Li+, K+, Rb+, Cs+, Ag+, or mixtures thereof, 2.0?x?2.4, 0.0?y?1.0, and 0.05?z?0.9, where MIII is Al3+, Ga3+, Cr3+, Sc3+, Fe3+, In3+, Yb3+, Y3+, or mixtures thereof and MIV is Ti4+, Zr4+, Hf4+, or mixtures thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2012
    Assignee: Ceramatec, Inc.
    Inventors: Shekar Balagopal, Marc Flinders
  • Publication number: 20120048730
    Abstract: A method is provided for synthesizing synthesis gas from carbon dioxide obtained from atmospheric air or other available carbon dioxide source and water using a sodium-conducting electrochemical cell. Synthesis gas is also produced by the coelectrolysis of carbon dioxide and steam in a solid oxide fuel cell or solid oxide electrolytic cell. The synthesis gas produced may then be further processed and eventually converted into a liquid fuel suitable for transportation or other applications.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 1, 2011
    Publication date: March 1, 2012
    Inventors: Joseph J. Hartvigsen, Ashok V. Joshi, S. Elangovan, Shekar Balagopal, John Howard Gordon, Michele Hollist
  • Publication number: 20120043219
    Abstract: A process is provided for synthesizing synthesis gas from carbon dioxide obtained from atmospheric air or other available carbon dioxide source and water using a sodium-conducting electrochemical cell. Synthesis gas is also produced by the coelectrolysis of carbon dioxide and steam in a solid oxide fuel cell or solid oxide electrolytic cell. The synthesis gas produced may then be further processed and eventually converted into a liquid fuel suitable for transportation or other applications.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 1, 2011
    Publication date: February 23, 2012
    Inventors: Joseph J. Hartvigsen, Ashok V. Joshi, S. Elangovan, Shekar Balagopal, John Howard Gordon, Michele Hollist
  • Patent number: 8075746
    Abstract: A method is provided for synthesizing synthesis gas from carbon dioxide obtained from atmospheric air or other available carbon dioxide source and water using a sodium-conducting electrochemical cell. Synthesis gas is also produced by the coelectrolysis of carbon dioxide and steam in a solid oxide fuel cell or solid oxide electrolytic cell. The synthesis gas produced may then be further processed and eventually converted into a liquid fuel suitable for transportation or other applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2011
    Assignee: Ceramatec, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph J. Hartvigsen, Ashok V. Joshi, S. Elangovan, Shekar Balagopal, John Howard Gordon, Michele Hollist
  • Patent number: 8075758
    Abstract: Alkali alcoholates, also called alkali alkoxides, are produced from alkali metal salt solutions and alcohol using a three-compartment electrolytic cell. The electrolytic cell includes an anolyte compartment configured with an anode, a buffer compartment, and a catholyte compartment configured with a cathode. An alkali ion conducting solid electrolyte configured to selectively transport alkali ions is positioned between the anolyte compartment and the buffer compartment. An alkali ion permeable separator is positioned between the buffer compartment and the catholyte compartment. The catholyte solution may include an alkali alcoholate and alcohol. The anolyte solution may include at least one alkali salt. The buffer compartment solution may include a soluble alkali salt and an alkali alcoholate in alcohol.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2011
    Assignee: Ceramatec, Inc.
    Inventors: Ashok V. Joshi, Shekar Balagopal, Justin Pendelton
  • Publication number: 20110259736
    Abstract: Disclosed are electrolytic cells for making solutions of metal alcoholates in their corresponding alcohols using an electrolytic process. In one embodiment, sodium methylate in methanol is made from methanol and sodium hydroxide solution. The sodium hydroxide solution is placed in the anolyte compartment and the methanol is placed in the catholyte compartment, and the two compartments are separated by a ceramic membrane that selectively transports sodium under the influence of current. In preferred embodiments, the process is cost-effective and not environmentally harmful.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 4, 2011
    Publication date: October 27, 2011
    Inventors: Shekar Balagopal, Vigod Matheda
  • Patent number: 8012633
    Abstract: A metal-air battery is disclosed in one embodiment of the invention as including a cathode to reduce oxygen molecules and an alkali-metal-containing anode to oxidize the alkali metal (e.g., Li, Na, and K) contained therein to produce alkali-metal ions. An aqueous catholyte is placed in ionic communication with the cathode to store reaction products generated by reacting the alkali-metal ions with the oxygen containing anions. These reaction products are stored as solutes dissolved in the aqueous catholyte. An ion-selective membrane is interposed between the alkali-metal containing anode and the aqueous catholyte. The ion-selective membrane is designed to be conductive to the alkali-metal ions while being impermeable to the aqueous catholyte.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2011
    Assignee: Ceramatec, Inc.
    Inventors: John Howard Gordon, Shekar Balagopal, Sai Bhavaraju, John Joseph Watkins
  • Patent number: 7959784
    Abstract: Disclosed are processes of making solutions of metal alcoholates in their corresponding alcohols using an electrolytic process. In one embodiment, sodium methylate in methanol is made from methanol and sodium hydroxide solution. The sodium hydroxide solution is placed in the anolyte compartment and the methanol is placed in the catholyte compartment, and the two compartments are separated by a ceramic membrane that selectively transports sodium under the influence of current. In preferred embodiments, the process is cost-effective and not environmentally harmful.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2011
    Assignee: Ceramatec, Inc.
    Inventors: Shekar Balagopal, Vinod K. Malhotra