Final Report: A Portable Microreactor System to Synthesize Hydrogen Peroxide

EPA 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
Phase: II
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

Description:

Hydrogen peroxide vapor (HPV) is an effective and well-studied decontaminant for vehicles or buildings contaminated by hazardous chemical or biological materials. Unfortunately, the current technology for generating HPV requires 35 wt.% 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 35 wt.% hydrogen peroxide is normally stable, if the temperature becomes elevated or if the container becomes contaminated, it can quickly decompose, releasing large amounts of oxygen.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

TDA Research, Inc., (TDA) is developing a compact, portable system that will generate liquid H2O2 onsite, eliminating all the problems related to its transport and storage. TDA’s portable system will require only water, air and electricity (resources that are readily available at any application site) and will not generate any hazardous byproducts that are difficult to dispose of. This system will enable onsite generation of H2O2 that can be used to decontaminate the interiors of vehicles and buildings. H2O2 is useful in many applications beyond decontamination; it 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, and also is finding increased use in keeping hospital interiors safe. The system and the materials developed in this work therefore also will provide cost-effective H2O2 to the U.S. chemical and manufacturing industries.

Conclusions:

In this project, TDA demonstrated the technical feasibility of using nanocatalysts in a microreactor for the direct synthesis of H2O2. The catalysts developed in Phase II showed a very high activity and selectivity. TDA also built and tested a prototype microreactor unit for H2O2 synthesis.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, EPA, homeland security, hydrogen peroxide, HPV, H2O2, hazardous chemicals, hazardous biological materials, hazardous materials transport and storage, nanocatalysts, microreactor, oxidizing agent, hydrogen peroxide synthesis, portable microreactor, onsite hydrogen peroxide synthesis


SBIR Phase I:

A Portable Microreactor System to Synthesize Hydrogen Peroxide  | Final Report