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Method for cracking hydrocarbon compositions using a submerged reactive plasma system

United States Patent

*** EXPIRED ***
May 6, 1997
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Idaho National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office Website
A method for cracking a liquid hydrocarbon composition (e.g. crude oil) to produce a cracked hydrocarbon product. A liquid hydrocarbon composition is initially provided. An electrical arc is generated directly within the hydrocarbon composition so that the arc is entirely submerged in the composition. Arc generation is preferably accomplished using a primary and secondary electrode each having a first end submerged in the composition. The first ends of the electrodes are separated from each other to form a gap therebetween. An electrical potential is then applied to the electrodes to generate the arc within the gap. A reactive gas is thereafter delivered to the arc which forms a bubble around the arc. Gas delivery may be accomplished by providing a passageway through each electrode and delivering the gas through the passageways. The arc and gas cooperate to produce a plasma which efficiently cracks the hydrocarbon composition.
Kong; Peter C. (Idaho Falls, ID)
Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company (Idaho Falls, ID)
08/ 534,602
September 27, 1995
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION The United States Government has rights in this invention disclosed under Contract Number DE-AC07-76ID01570 between the U.S. Department of Energy and EG&G Idaho, Inc., now Contract Number DE-AC07-94ID13223 with Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company.