Green Production of Fuels and Plastics

Tech ID: 25561 / UC Case 2011-670-0

Brief Description

The invention is a method for making plastics that is environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient. Utilizing this innovative technology, a relatively cheap hydrocarbon source is converted to a more useful and valuable plastic or fuel.

Full Description

Polyethylene (PE) is the world’s most common plastic. Because of its commercial importance, polymer scientists have a long-standing interest in the influence of polymer microstructure, including molecular weight, branch content/distribution, and architecture, on the physical properties of PE. Despite extraordinarily efficient catalysts for the synthesis of simple hydrocarbon polymers such as PE and polypropylene (PP), the controlled synthesis of these materials still presents a challenge.

The technology disclosed herein is a method for creating multi-length linear or branched small molecules, oligomers, polymers, and waxes. In addition to producing useful and valuable hydrocarbon products, this approach can utilize starting materials from a wide range of sources, including coal, natural gas, petroleum, or biomass. The synthesis generally comprises the steps of combining a) a C1 carbon source; b) water; c) an alkaline agent; and d) an alkyl Lewis acid (catalytic).

Suggested uses

Production of useful and valuable hydrocarbons for use as plastics or fuels.


-Cost: Energy-efficient method that utilizes cheap, plentiful, or undesirable “waste” starting materials

-Environmental Impact: These green reactions are ran in water at room temperature and atmospheric pressure

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,273,158 03/01/2016 2011-670

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