Patents by Inventor Zhichang Liu

Zhichang Liu 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: 20190077804
    Abstract: Provided herein are rigid macrocycles comprising a first redox-active subunit and a second redox-active subunit, wherein the first redox-active unit and the second redox-active unit are different subunits. Also provided herein are methods of preparation of the rigid macrocycles and use thereof, for example, in the first of energy generation and storage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 16, 2017
    Publication date: March 14, 2019
    Applicants: Northwestern University, KING ABDULAZIZ CITY FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (KACST)
    Inventors: James Fraser STODDART, Siva Krishna Mohan NALLURI, Zhichang LIU
  • Patent number: 10214796
    Abstract: Methods for recovering gold from gold-bearing materials are provided. The methods rely upon on the self-assembly of KAuBr4 and ?-cyclodextrin (?-CD) in aqueous solution to form a co-precipitate, a 1:2 complex, KAuBr4•(?-CD)2 (“?•Br”), either alone or in an extended {[K(OH2)6][AuBr4]?(?-CD)2}n chain superstructure (FIG. 1). The co-precipitation of ?•Br is selective for gold, even in the presence of other metals, including other square-planar noble metals. The method enables one to isolate gold from gold-bearing materials from diverse sources, as further described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2019
    Assignee: Northwestern University
    Inventors: J. Fraser Stoddart, Zhichang Liu, Marco Frasconi, Dennis Cao
  • Patent number: 10209095
    Abstract: The present invention provides an eddy current sensor, comprising: a housing; a plurality of probes which are all disposed inside the housing, probing ends of the probes being all disposed at inner side of an exterior surface of the housing to avoid the probing ends of the probes from protruding out of the exterior surface of the housing. Because the probing ends of the plurality of probes are all located at the inner side of the exterior surface of the housing, the housing will protect the probes when the eddy current sensor is hit by an external force, thereby avoiding damage of the probes due to the impact, which reduces fault rate of the probes, enhances use reliability of the eddy current sensor, and prolongs service life of the eddy current sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: Gree Green Refrigeration Technology Center Co., Ltd. of Zhuhai
    Inventors: Yusheng Hu, Weicai Huang, Jiqing Geng, Zhichang Liu
  • Publication number: 20190016738
    Abstract: Provided herein are supramolecular assemblies, the supramolecular assemblies comprising a racemic mixture of rigid macrocycles capable of interacting through [C—H . . . O] hydrogen bonds. Also provided herein are methods for preparing supramolecular assemblies, the method comprising providing a mixture of rigid macrocycles capable of interacting through [C—H . . . O] hydrogen bonds, the mixture of rigid macrocycles comprising a first rigid macrocycle enantiomer and a second rigid macrocycle enantiomer, and providing a solvent.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 13, 2017
    Publication date: January 17, 2019
    Applicant: Northwestern University
    Inventors: James Fraser Stoddart, Zhichang Liu
  • Publication number: 20190016737
    Abstract: Provided herein are mechanically interlocked air-stable persistent organic radicals. The radical compositions may access a multiplicity of radical, cationic redox states as well as a fully cationic redox state. A composition comprises a first ring mechanically interlocked with a second ring or a salt thereof, wherein the first ring comprises a 4,4?-bipyridinium subunit or a derivative thereof and a diazapyrenium subunit or a derivative thereof and the second ring comprises a 4,4?-bipyridinium subunit or a derivative thereof. In some embodiments, the second ring further comprises a diazapyrenium subunit or a derivative thereof. Methods of preparing the compositions are also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 11, 2018
    Publication date: January 17, 2019
    Applicant: Northwestern University
    Inventors: Zhichang Liu, Junling Sun, James Fraser Stoddart
  • Publication number: 20180188159
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a process for monitoring the catalytic activity of an ionic liquid and for the regeneration of the ionic liquid in continuous conversion of an olefin in an alkylation. The process includes (a) providing an ionic liquid; (b) reacting a hydrocarbon mixture with the ionic liquid to obtain an ionic liquid phase. In step (d), adding an organic compound to the ionic liquid phase. In step (e), obtaining an absorption peak of a mixture from step (d) and in step (f) repeating until the absorption peak reaches a maximum or a minimum value. In step (g), determining the total amount of the organic compound or the ionic liquid phase added. Next, (h) calculating the catalytic activity of the ionic liquid. Then, (i) adding aluminium halides to the reaction of step (b) such that the activity of step (h) stays above the minimum level.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 16, 2016
    Publication date: July 5, 2018
    Inventors: Zhichang LIU, Rui ZHANG, Xuan ZHANG, Xianghai MENG, Haiyan LIU, Chunming XU, Peter Anton August KLUSENER
  • Publication number: 20180180555
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a process for monitoring the catalytic activity of an ionic liquid. In step (a), providing an acidic ionic liquid; (b) providing an organic compound; (c) adding at least a portion of the organic compound to at least a portion of the ionic liquid; (d) recording an infrared spectrum of a mixture from step (c) to obtain at least one absorption peak. In step (e), repeating steps (c) and (d) until at least one absorption peak reaches a maximum value or a minimum value. In step (f), determining at the maximum value or minimum value of step (e): the total amount of the organic compound or the total amount of the ionic liquid added. In step (g), calculating the catalytic activity of the ionic liquid based on: the total amount of the organic compound or the total amount of ionic liquid, as determined in step (f).
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 16, 2016
    Publication date: June 28, 2018
    Inventors: Rui ZHANG, Zhichang LIU, Xuan ZHANG, Xianghai MENG, Haiyan LIU, Chunming XU, Peter Anton August KLUSENER
  • Publication number: 20170370958
    Abstract: An eddy current sensor for a rotary shaft and a rotary shaft apparatus. The eddy current sensor includes: a housing; one or more position detecting probes provided on the housing; and a rotating speed detecting probe provided on the housing. The eddy current sensor integrates the position detecting probe and the rotary speed detecting probe, such that while the eddy current sensor is detecting position displacement of the rotary shaft, the eddy current sensor may also simultaneously detect the rotating speed of the rotary shaft, which facilitates detecting and monitoring the rotary shaft more comprehensively. The detected position data and rotating speed data of the rotary shaft correspond to each other at any time, such that the working state of the rotary shaft may be analyzed more intensively.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 31, 2015
    Publication date: December 28, 2017
    Inventors: Weicai Huang, Yusheng Hu, Jiqing Geng, Zhichang Liu
  • Publication number: 20170320047
    Abstract: The present invention provides a process to prepare a composite ionic liquid, the process at least comprising the steps: (a) mixing an ammonium salt and a solid aluminium salt to obtain a first mixture; (b) stirring under heating the first mixture of step (a); (c) adding to the first mixture of step (b) one or more solid metal salts to obtain a second mixture, wherein the metal salts are selected from halides, sulfates, or nitrates of aluminium, gallium, copper, iron, zinc, nickel, cobalt, molybdenum and platinum; (d) stirring under heating the second mixture of step (c); (e) adding to the second mixture of step (d) a hydrocarbon to obtain a third mixture; (f) stirring under heating the third mixture of step (e) until the solids of the aluminium salt of step (a), and the solids of the metal salts of step (c) disappear and the mixture is converted into a composite ionic liquid; and (g) cooling the composite ionic liquid of step (f).
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 22, 2015
    Publication date: November 9, 2017
    Inventors: Rui ZHANG, Zhichang LIU, Xianghai MENG, Chunming XU
  • Publication number: 20170211948
    Abstract: The present invention provides an eddy current sensor, comprising: a housing; a plurality of probes which are all disposed inside the housing, probing ends of the probes being all disposed at inner side of an exterior surface of the housing to avoid the probing ends of the probes from protruding out of the exterior surface of the housing. Because the probing ends of the plurality of probes are all located at the inner side of the exterior surface of the housing, the housing will protect the probes when the eddy current sensor is hit by an external force, thereby avoiding damage of the probes due to the impact, which reduces fault rate of the probes, enhances use reliability of the eddy current sensor, and prolongs service life of the eddy current sensor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 6, 2015
    Publication date: July 27, 2017
    Inventors: Yusheng Hu, Weicai Huang, Jiqing Geng, Zhichang Liu
  • Patent number: 9567273
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a process for preparing alkylate comprising the subsequent steps (a), (b) and (c): (a) an alkylation step, wherein in a reaction zone a hydrocarbon mixture comprising at least an isoparaffin and an olefin is reacted with an ionic liquid catalyst to obtain an effluent comprising alkylate and solids, which latter are formed as side products in the alkylation step; (b) a separation step, wherein at least part of the alkylate-comprising effluent coming from the reaction zone is separated in a separator unit into a hydrocarbon-rich phase and an ionic liquid catalyst-rich phase which latter phase also comprises solids formed as side products during the alkylation reaction; and (c) a solids removal step, wherein the solids in ionic liquid catalyst-rich phase are separated from the ionic liquid catalyst using a suitable separating device; wherein the process further comprises a step following the separation step (b) and prior to the solids removal step (c).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2017
    Assignee: SHELL OIL COMPANY
    Inventors: Peter Anton August Klusener, Zhichang Liu, Xianghai Meng, Rui Zhang, Jan De With, Chunming Xu
  • Patent number: 9546169
    Abstract: A redox-active triangular prism is provided. The redox-active triangular prism includes a plurality of pure enantiomers selected from a group consisting of (?)-NDI-? and (+)-NDI-?. Methods for their preparation as solvent-templated supramolecular structures and a characterization of their redox-active behavior are provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2017
    Assignee: Northwestern University
    Inventors: James Fraser Stoddart, Severin T. Schneebeli, Zhichang Liu, Marco Frasconi
  • Publication number: 20160333441
    Abstract: Methods for recovering gold from gold-bearing materials are provided. The methods rely upon on the self-assembly of KAuBr4 and ?-cyclodextrin (?-CD) in aqueous solution to form a co-precipitate, a 1:2 complex, KAuBr4•(?-CD)2 (“?•Br”), either alone or in an extended {[K(OH2)6][AuBr4]?(?-CD)2}n chain superstructure (FIG. 1). The co-precipitation of ?•Br is selective for gold, even in the presence of other metals, including other square-planar noble metals. The method enables one to isolate gold from gold-bearing materials from diverse sources, as further described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 25, 2016
    Publication date: November 17, 2016
    Inventors: J. Fraser Stoddart, Zhichang Liu, Marco Frasconi, Dennis Cao
  • Patent number: 9399803
    Abstract: Methods for recovering gold from gold-bearing materials are provided. The methods rely upon on the self-assembly of KAuBr4 and ?-cyclodextrin (?-CD) in aqueous solution to form a co-precipitate, a 1:2 complex, KAuBr4•(?-CD)2 (“?•Br”), either alone or in an extended {[K(OH2)6][AuBr4]?(?-CD)2}n chain superstructure (FIG. 1). The co-precipitation of ?•Br is selective for gold, even in the presence of other metals, including other square-planar noble metals. The method enables one to isolate gold from gold-bearing materials from diverse sources, as further described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2016
    Assignee: Northwestern University
    Inventors: J. Fraser Stoddart, Zhichang Liu, Marco Frasconi, Dennis Cao
  • Publication number: 20160199825
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a composite ionic liquid comprising ammonium cations and composite coordinate anions derived from two or more metal salts, wherein at least one metal salt is an aluminium salt and any further metal salt is a salt of a metal selected from the group consisting of Group IB elements of the Periodic Table, Group IIB elements of the Periodic Table and transition elements of the Periodic Table, wherein the ammonium cation is a N,N?-disubstituted imidazolium cation, the substituents independently being selected from C1-C10 alkyl, and C6-C10 aryl. The composite ionic liquid of the invention is a stable catalyst, which can suitably be used to run an ionic liquid alkylation process which produces less solids and an alkylate product comprising less organic chlorides as side products than processes known from the prior art.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 27, 2014
    Publication date: July 14, 2016
    Inventors: Rui ZHANG, Jan DE WITH, Peter Anton August KLUSENER, Zhichang LIU
  • Patent number: 9346042
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a regeneration process for producing a regenerated ionic liquid catalyst from solids formed in an ionic liquid alkylation process wherein a first ionic liquid is used as a catalyst which is a composite ionic liquid comprising ammonium cations, and anions being composite coordinate anions derived from two or more metal salts, the regeneration process comprising (a) removing the solids from the reaction zone of the alkylation process; and (b) subsequently treating the solids with a second ionic liquid made from an ammonium salt as cation, and an aluminum salt as anion which is the same as the aluminum salt present in the first ionic liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2016
    Assignee: Shell Oil Company
    Inventors: Rui Zhang, Zhichang Liu, Chunming Xu, Xianghai Meng, Peter Anton August Klusener
  • Publication number: 20160130271
    Abstract: A redox-active triangular prism is provided. The redox-active triangular prism includes a plurality of pure enantiomers selected from a group consisting of (?)-NDI-? and (+)-NDI-?. Methods for their preparation as solvent-templated supramolecular structures and a characterization of their redox-active behavior are provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 3, 2015
    Publication date: May 12, 2016
    Inventors: James Fraser Stoddart, Severin T. Schneebeli, Marco Frasconi, Zhichang Liu
  • Patent number: 9260668
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method for revamping an HF or sulphuric acid alkylation unit to an ionic liquid alkylation unit, wherein the HF or sulphuric acid alkylation unit comprise at least: —a reactor unit for contacting catalyst and hydrocarbon reactants; —a separator unit for separating a reactor effluent into a catalyst phase and an alkylate-comprising hydrocarbon phase; —a fractionator unit for fractionating the alkylate-comprising hydrocarbon phase into at least one stream comprising alkylate; —a catalyst phase recycle means to recycle at least part of the catalyst phase from the separator unit to the reactor unit; which method includes: —adapting the catalyst phase recycle means by providing a means for acid injection and/or a means for halohydrocarbon injection into the catalyst recycle means. The invention further provides a method for the production of alkylate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2016
    Assignee: Shell Oil Company
    Inventors: Zhichang Liu, Chunming Xu, Rui Zhang, Xianghai Meng, Ana Cecilia Patroni, Peter Anton August Klusener, Albertus Vincentius Petrus Van Den Bosch
  • Publication number: 20150315103
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a process for preparing alkylate comprising the subsequent steps (a), (b) and (c): (a) an alkylation step, wherein in a reaction zone a hydrocarbon mixture comprising at least an isoparaffin and an olefin is reacted with an ionic liquid catalyst to obtain an effluent comprising alkylate and solids, which latter are formed as side products in the alkylation step; (b) a separation step, wherein at least part of the alkylate-comprising effluent coming from the reaction zone is separated in a separator unit into a hydrocarbon-rich phase and an ionic liquid catalyst-rich phase which latter phase also comprises solids formed as side products during the alkylation reaction; and (c) a solids removal step, wherein the solids in ionic liquid catalyst-rich phase are separated from the ionic liquid catalyst using a suitable separating device; wherein the process further comprises a step following the separation step (b) and prior to the solids removal step (c).
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 13, 2013
    Publication date: November 5, 2015
    Inventors: Peter Anton August KLUSENER, Zhichang LIU, Xianghai MENG, Rui Zhang, Jan DE WITH, Chunming XU
  • Publication number: 20150231624
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a regeneration process for producing a regenerated ionic liquid catalyst from solids formed in an ionic liquid alkylation process wherein a first ionic liquid is used as a catalyst which is a composite ionic liquid comprising ammonium cations, and anions being composite coordinate anions derived from two or more metal salts, wherein at least one metal salt is an aluminium salt and any further metal salt is a salt of a metal selected from the group consisting of Group IB elements of the Periodic Table, Group IIB elements of the Periodic Table and transition elements of the Periodic Table, the regeneration process comprising (a) removing the solids from the reaction zone of the alkylation process; and (b) subsequently treating the solids with a second ionic liquid made from an ammonium salt as cation, and an aluminium salt as anion which is the same as the aluminium salt present in the first ionic liquid.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 28, 2012
    Publication date: August 20, 2015
    Inventors: Rui Zhang, Zhichang Liu, Chunming Xu, Xianghai Meng, Peter Anton August Klusener