A Novel Idea for Photo-Conversion of Hazardous Chlorocarbon Industrial Wastes to Usable Hydrocarbon Fuels

EPA Contract Number: 68D00051
Title: A Novel Idea for Photo-Conversion of Hazardous Chlorocarbon Industrial Wastes to Usable Hydrocarbon Fuels
Investigators: Lavid, Moshe
Small Business: M.L. Energia Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: II
Project Period: September 1, 1990 through May 1, 1993
Project Amount: $150,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (1990) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , SBIR - Waste , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Hazardous waste disposal is one of the main concerns of the Environmental Protection Agency. The dominant process for treatment of an important toxic waste - chlorocarbons - has been incineration. However, the intolerable quantities of polychlorinated hydrocarbons (PCHC) detected in effluent of incinerators have raised serious doubts as to the wide application of this technology. Uti1ization of a reducing atmosphere can dramatically decrease the concentrations of PCHC and totally eliminate phosgene in the emission, but it creates unacceptable amounts of solid carbon.

M.L. Energia, Inc., proposes a novel method for safe conversion of halocarbons that has the potential to alleviate these problems. Photo-initiation will be used to reduce the overall activation energy barrier for chlorocarbon reduction to hydrocarbons and hydrogen chloride. As a result of the photochemical step, dechlorination can be accomplished at relatively low temperature. This will circumvent soot for- mation which is characteristic of higher temperature ther- mal processes and will substantialy reduce energy cost.

During Phase 1, photo-induced dechlorination ,as unam- biguously demonstrated: representative chlorocarbons (CH,Cl, CHCL,, CHCI,, CC I,,, CH,CCI,) were converted to chlorine-free hydrocarbons at moderate temperature and with absence of soot. Because of these dramatic and con- vncing results, a Phase 11 comprehensive research program is proposed. It will consist of three major efforts: 1) Phase I kinetic studies will be extended to achieve a deeper understanding of the photo-initiated dechlorination mechanism; (2) a prototype photochemical reactor for pilot studies will be designed and constricted and (3) the proto- type will be tested in-depth to evaluate efficiency, to optimize conversion and to determine cost. Then, if all is successful, the process will be commercialized in collaboration with a private company under a Phase III program, for which a Follow-on Funding commitment has been obtained.

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Sustainable Industry/Business, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Chemistry, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Hazardous Waste, Chemistry and Materials Science, Engineering, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, waste to fuel conversion, industrial waste, photo-conversion, photo conversion , hydrocarbon fuels, polychlorinated hydrocarbons (PCHC), chlorocarbon , incineration alternatives, waste recovery, polychorinated hydrocarbons (PCHCs), disposal

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final