New Patent Granted

Mostly off-topic (but energy-related), I just got a notice that one of my patents that has been working it’s way through the system was finally granted:

Reactor and process for making synthesis gas

United States Patent 7,381,230
Rapier, et al. June 3, 2008


The invention relates to reactor systems and processes for producing synthesis gas. In one embodiment, a reactor comprises a first reaction zone comprising a combustion catalyst, wherein the first reaction zone is operated at conditions sufficient to produce a combustion zone product comprising heat generated by the combustion of a fuel. The reactor further comprises a second reaction zone comprising a partial oxidation catalyst, wherein the second reaction zone is adapted to receive the combustion zone product and a reaction feed comprising a hydrocarbon gas. The second reaction zone is operated at conditions sufficient for partially oxidizing the hydrocarbon gas to a product stream comprising synthesis gas. The heat of combustion is transferred directly to the reaction feed by mixing it in a feed mix region located in the reactor between the first and second reaction zones, in such a manner that the reaction feed does not need preheating prior to entering the partial oxidation zone.

This patent is a gas to liquids (GTL) application, but has implications for CTL and BTL as well. From the time of application, it took 3.5 years for this one to be granted.

2 thoughts on “New Patent Granted”

  1. Congratulations, Robert. 3.5 years is not slow turnaround for the PTO these days. I received a patent in January for an application that I first drafted in January 2003 – exactly five years from draft to patent. It seems from your blog that you are still interested in the BtL area?

  2. It seems from your blog that you are still interested in the BtL area?

    Absolutely. Short-term, capital costs are too high. Long-term, I think it beats most other liquid fuel options.


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