A Portable Microreactor System to Synthesize Hydrogen PeroxideEPA Contract Number: EPD10064
Title: A Portable Microreactor System to Synthesize Hydrogen Peroxide
Investigators: Jayaraman, Ambal
Small Business: TDA Research Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: May 1, 2010 through April 30, 2012
Project Amount: $225,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (2010) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Homeland Security
Hydrogen peroxide vapor (HPV) is an effective and well studied decontaminant for vehicles and buildings contaminated by hazardous chemical or biological materials. Unfortunately, the current technology for generating HPV requires 35 weight percent hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as a precursor, which is dangerous and cumbersome to transport and is classified by the Department of Transportation (DOT) as both a Class 5.1 Hazard (oxidizer) and a Class 8 Hazard (corrosive). While the 35 weight percent H2O2 normally is stable, if the temperature becomes elevated or the container becomes contaminated it can quickly decompose, releasing large amounts of oxygen.
TDA Research, Inc. (TDA) is developing a compact portable system that will generate liquid H2O2 onsite, eliminating all problems related to its transport and storage. The portable system will require only water, air, and electricity (resources that are readily available at any application site) and will not generate any hazardous by-products for which disposal is difficult.
In the Phase I project, TDA demonstrated the technical feasibility of using nanocatalysts in a microreactor for direct synthesis of H2O2. The catalysts developed in Phase I showed a very high activity and selectivity for H2O2 synthesis. In Phase II, TDA will build and test a prototype microreactor unit for H2O2 synthesis.
This system will enable onsite H2O2 generation of a 35 weight percent solution that can be used to decontaminate the interiors of vehicles and buildings. H2O2 is a strong, nonpolluting oxidizing agent, with broad applications in pulp/paper bleaching, water/waste and effluent treatment, chemical synthesis, textile bleaching, mining/metallurgy, electronics (semiconductors), and propulsion. It also is finding increased use in maintaining safe hospital interiors. The system and the materials developed in this work also will provide cost-effective H2O2 to the U.S. chemical and manufacturing industries.