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G Research, Development, and Demonstration Definitions RESEARCH Fundamental Research This is basic research into scientific principles aimed at providing a knowledge base in chemistry and physics relevant to areas of interest in which such knowledge is not yet available. Desired Results Acquired knowledge may provide the basis for break- throughs for conception and development of new technologies and pro- grams. Example Understanding the chemical structure of coal might lead to less severe and more optimal reaction conditions. Exploratory Research Building in part on the knowledge available from fundamental research and recognizing the problem areas in process R&D, exploratory research generates new innovative technical approaches through the use of small, low-cost, bench-scale experiments. It is recognized that there is a relatively low chance of success for this type of research, but it is of low cost with occasional breakthroughs. Desired Results New process and catalyst concepts and insights with sufficient data on feasibility and general limitations to shape or influence process R&D. Example Exploratory research would try different reagents and process conditions in small laboratory tests to probe chemical structure functionali- ties to achieve better yields. 185
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186 APPENDIX G Catalyst Development Building in part on fundamental catalyst characterization and kinetic mechanistic knowledge, catalyst research synthesizes and optimizes new catalyst formulations in small equipment. Desired Results Definition of catalyst component effects to define opti- mal catalyst formulations for given sets of reactants and desired products. Example Small laboratory batches for catalysts for process research experiments. Process Research Process research uses the knowledge base of fundamental and scientific disciplines to confirm practical process concepts. These concepts are usu- ally tested in nonintegrated experiments, to show process and equipment feasibility, test operating limits, and produce data for preliminary evalu- ation. Desired Results—Definition of process variable effects to define desired operating points and economics and to form the basis for an integrated pilot plant design. Example—Batch and once-through process steps of bitumen extraction from tar sands. DEVELOPMENT AND DEMONSTRATION Catalyst Development Development of commercial catalyst manufacturing techniques to pro- vide commercial quantities of catalysts for life studies and operation in an integrated pilot plant. Pilot plant operation serves to test catalyst commer- cial viability. Desired Results Firm basis including all steps and interrelationships that can be used for economic evaluation and process design for a demon- stration or commercial unit. Example Amocat-lA in the H-coal pilot plant. Process Development Development of process concepts in larger integrated pilot plants that simulate, to the extent possible, the viability of a commercial process for an extended period of operation. This is normally a more expensive phase, and a consortium may be desirable to pursue it.
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APPHIDIX G 187 Desired Result" Firm process basis including all steps and interrelation- ships that can be used for economic evaluation and process design for a demonstration or commercial unit. Example The 6-ton/day Wilsonville, Alabama, coal liquefaction pilot plant. Process Demonstration Demonstrate the commercial viability on equipment of "commercial size." Operability and maintenance requirements are demonstrated over very long run periods. This is a very expensive phase and should be undertaken only when technical and economic confidence in the process is high and there is sufficient industry interest to form a consortium. Desired Results Definition of design and economic information that can be used for (1) deciding the desirability of a commercial unit and (2) the effective construction and operation of a commercial unit when one is appropriate. Program Area This is defined as that portion of the program dealing with a particular technology resource combination, such as direct coal liquefaction by high- pressure hydrogenation, coal gasification, mild coal gasification, underground coal gasification, oil shale retorting, and tar sands extraction.
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