Global to push GA events into
skip to main content

Title: Apparatus and method for the desulfurization of petroleum by bacteria

A method is described for treating petroleum with anaerobic microorganisms acting as biocatalysts that can remove sulfur atoms from hydrocarbon molecules, under anaerobic conditions, and then convert the sulfur atoms to hydrogen sulfide. The microorganisms utilized are from the family known as the ``Sulfate Reducing Bacteria``. These bacteria generate metabolic energy from the oxidation of organic compounds, but use oxidized forms of sulfur as an electron acceptor. Because the biocatalyst is present in the form of bacteria in an aqueous suspension, whereas the reacting substrate consists of hydrocarbon molecules in an organic phase, the actual desulfurization reaction takes place at the aqueous-organic interphase. To ensure adequate interfacial contacting and mass transfer, a biphasic electrostatic bioreactor system is utilized. The bioreactor is utilized to disperse and recoalesce a biocatalyst contained in the aqueous liquid phase into the organic liquid phase containing the sulfur. High-intensity electrical fields rupture the aqueous drops into a plurality of microdroplets and induce continuous coalescence and redispersion as the microdroplets travel through the organic phase, thus increasing surface area. As the aqueous microdroplets progress through the organic phase, the biocatalyst then reacts with the sulfur to produce hydrogen sulfide which is then removed from the bioreactor. Themore » organic liquid, now free of the sulfur, is ready for immediate use or further processing. 5 figs.« less
Inventors:
; ;
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
119041
Assignee:
Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc., Oak Ridge, TN (United States) PTO; SCA: 020400; PA: EDB-95:146171; SN: 95001477078
Patent Number(s):
US 5,458,752/A/
Application Number:
PAN: 8-327,265
Contract Number:
AC05-84OR21400
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 17 Oct 1995
Research Org:
Lockheed Martin Energy Syst Inc
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; PETROLEUM; ANAEROBIC DIGESTION; DESULFURIZATION; HYDROGEN SULFIDES; SYNTHESIS; SULFATE-REDUCING BACTERIA; BIOREACTORS; DESIGN; MIXING