In the Quantex M.E.R.S process, Hydrocarbon is mixed at an appropriate ratio and temperature to maximize its exposure.
The mixture is then exposed to microwave energy with optional supplemental thermal energy in limited capacity. The microwave energy may be tuned to the surface of the hydrocarbon where it preferentially applies its energy and allows hydrogen to be absorbed by the materials. This allows more precise control over the reaction site and typically avoids the thermally induced undesired carbon formation that plagues many conventional thermal processes while hydrogenating the hydrocarbon to enhance compositional product modification.
M.E.R.S. (Microwave Energetics Reactor System)
The use of solvents to dissolve hydrocarbons has been the basis of much activity for coal liquefaction and hydrogenation related processes. The most recent advances have been in processes such as hydrogen solvent donor liquefaction and hydrogenation process in which hydrocarbons are reacted with hydrogen containing solvents at high pressure and temperature to produce petroleum like liquid products.
A continuation of these processes were developed that utilized a recycled coal distillate solvent and other additives to produce light hydrocarbons, middle distillates and tar compounds. While these types of processes provide for a useful way to convert coal into fuels and chemicals, there are certain inherent aspects that have proved challenging and have limited potential. For example, the temperatures typically necessary for liquefaction to occur (>400 C) are within the range where unwanted carbon formation reactions occur. As in the figure at right, some form of heat is applied to the reactor in order to bring the slurry to the desired temperature range. These temperatures are near the carbon formation range and these processes often lack the ability to control the temperature throughout the reactor volume causing local hot spots to occur and create carbon disposition on the walls of the reactor.
In summary the principle benefits of M.E.R.S are: