IHS Chemical Week

EnviroTech :: Manufacturing Excellence

Rice University Researchers Develop Refining Catalyst with Five Times Current Efficiencies

3:30 AM MDT | September 23, 2010 | Alex Scott

Researchers from Rice University (Houston, TX) say they have developed a catalyst that is up to five times more efficient than existing technologies at cracking heavy oil byproducts into hydrocarbons for gasoline.   The catalyst is made from nano-scale clusters of tungsten oxide lying on top of zirconium oxide. The catalyst converts ‘straight-line’ molecules of n-pentane - one of many hydrocarbons in gasoline - into better-burning branched n-pentane, says Michael Wong, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and of chemistry at Rice...

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