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Olefins from High Yield Autothermal Reforming Process

Technology #94087

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Lanny Schmidt, PhD, Regents Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences, University of Minnesota
Dr. Schmidt's research focuses on various aspects of the chemistry and engineering of chemical reactions on solid surfaces. Dr. Schmidt has published over 300 papers in refereed journals. He has supervised approximately 60 Ph.D. theses and 15 M.S. theses at Minnesota, and 11 of his former students hold university teaching positions. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
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Larry Micek
Technology Licensing Officer 612-624-9568
Patent Protection

Catalytic oxidative dehydrogenation process and catalyst

US Patent 5905180

Catalytic oxidative dehydrogenation process

US Patent 6452061

Copper modified catalysts for oxidative dehydrogenation

US Patent 6846773

Process for the production of an oxidation catalyst on-line

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Dimethyl ether steam reforming catalyst and method for producing the same

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Files and Attachments
Olefins Term Sheet [PDF]

Autothermal Reforming is Alternative to Steam Cracking

Autothermal Reforming

A robust, cost effective process for olefin production uses the autothermal reforming method. This process dehydrogenates hydrocarbons to produce a mono-olefin using a catalyst consisting of platinum modified with copper or tin on a ceramic monolith. The worldwide demand for the production of olefins is higher than any other chemical. Traditionally, steam cracking is heavily relied on for olefin production. This is the most energy consuming process in the chemical industry. Energy costs make up an estimated 70% of the total production costs for olefin plants. Energy management and re-investment are important considerations from both an environmental and economic perspective. The autothermal production of isobutylene is a viable solution to reduce the energy investment and costs associated with producing this chemical.

MN-IP Try and Buy
  • Trial fee is $5,000 for a six month license
  • $30,000 conversion fee (TRY to BUY)
  • No patent costs
  • Royalty rate of 3% (2% for MN company)
  • Royalty free for first $1M in sales

** View the Term Sheet**
** Contact Larry Micek for specific details. **

Autothermal Reforming Produces High Yields of Olefins

The autothermal reforming method employs an improved dehydrogenation process for olefin production, utilizing platinum based dehydrogenation catalysts in the presence of oxygen. The autothermal process requires no external energy input following ignition and produces high conversions and yields from the gaseous hydrocarbon feeds. Autothermal reforming is an effective solution that meets the high demands of the chemical market industry by producing high yields of olefins while reducing the production costs, feedstock consumption, and coke formation.

Isobutylene is Starting Material for Other Products

Olefins are used to manufacture detergents, high octane gasolines, and pharmaceutical products. Isobutylene is used as the starting material to produce many other products. It is polmerized to provide tackifying agents for adhesives, viscosity-index additives for motor oils, and impact resistant and anti-oxidant additives for plastics.


  • Higher Conversions--the autothermal reforming process increases the yield of the desired dehydrogenated product.
  • Requires No External Energy--improved dehydrogenation process for olefin production.
  • Cost effective-- less energy consumption reduces the costs of production and is an alternative to steam cracking which is the most energy consuming process in the chemical industry.
  • Meets high market needs--worldwide demand for olefin is higher than any other chemical.