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

Abstract

A method 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. The organic liquid,more » now free of the sulfur, is ready for immediate use or further processing.« less

Inventors:
 [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. (Knoxville, TN)
  2. (Oak Ridge, TN)
Issue Date:
Research Org.:
LOCKHEED MARTIN ENRGY SYST INC
OSTI Identifier:
870117
Patent Number(s):
5458752
Assignee:
Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. (Oak Ridge, TN) ORNL
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-84OR21400
Resource Type:
Patent
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
apparatus; method; desulfurization; petroleum; bacteria; treating; anaerobic; microorganisms; acting; biocatalysts; remove; sulfur; atoms; hydrocarbon; molecules; conditions; convert; hydrogen; sulfide; utilized; family; sulfate; reducing; generate; metabolic; energy; oxidation; organic; compounds; oxidized; forms; electron; acceptor; biocatalyst; form; aqueous; suspension; reacting; substrate; consists; phase; reaction; takes; aqueous-organic; interphase; ensure; adequate; interfacial; contacting; mass; transfer; biphasic; electrostatic; bioreactor; disperse; recoalesce; contained; liquid; containing; high-intensity; electrical; fields; rupture; drops; plurality; microdroplets; induce; continuous; coalescence; redispersion; travel; increasing; surface; progress; reacts; produce; removed; free; immediate; processing; reaction takes; reducing bacteria; produce hydrogen; aqueous suspension; electrical fields; electrical field; phase containing; organic compound; organic phase; organic compounds; liquid phase; hydrogen sulfide; organic liquid; mass transfer; remove sulfur; aqueous liquid; anaerobic conditions; anaerobic microorganisms; electron acceptor; continuous coalescence; hydrocarbon molecules; intensity electric; treating petroleum; anaerobic microorganism; catalyst contained; oxidized form; sulfur atom; aerobic conditions; /204/422/435/

Citation Formats

Lizama, Hector M., Scott, Timothy C., and Scott, Charles D. Apparatus and method for the desulfurization of petroleum by bacteria. United States: N. p., 1995. Web.
Lizama, Hector M., Scott, Timothy C., & Scott, Charles D. Apparatus and method for the desulfurization of petroleum by bacteria. United States.
Lizama, Hector M., Scott, Timothy C., and Scott, Charles D. Sun . "Apparatus and method for the desulfurization of petroleum by bacteria". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/870117.
@article{osti_870117,
title = {Apparatus and method for the desulfurization of petroleum by bacteria},
author = {Lizama, Hector M. and Scott, Timothy C. and Scott, Charles D.},
abstractNote = {A method 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. The organic liquid, now free of the sulfur, is ready for immediate use or further processing.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1995},
month = {1}
}

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