Sorbents for Removal of Odorants from Natural Gas

Period of Performance: 01/01/2003 - 12/31/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave. Array
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


72882S03-I Chemical odorants made with sulfur-containing compounds are added to propane and natural gas supplies to facilitate leak detection. However, in the fuel processing systems of fuel cells, these compounds can contaminate the anode catalysts of the fuel cell itself, thereby degrading power generation performance. This project will develop a low-cost, high-capacity, expendable sorbent that can remove natural gas odorants from natural gas and propane. Phase I will prepare a number of sorbent formulations and screen them to determine their capacity to absorb organosulfur compounds. Using the results of these tests, the technical feasibility of the concept will be demonstrated, and an engineering and economic evaluation will be conducted. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: Fuel cells have great potential as decentralized energy power systems. A cost-effective sorbent that removes sulfur impurities should find immediate use in the fuel cell market; the residential U.S. market alone could be as much as 1,093,000 MW. The technology also should simplify removal operations for sulfur-containing compounds in petroleum refining.