Advanced Fischer-Tropsch Technology for the 21st Century
72039-Converting natural gas to liquids will enable the economic development of stranded gas reserves, which are estimated at more than 4,000 trillion cubic feet and account for about 80% of all known gas reserves worldwide. Initial gas-to-liquids (GTL) technologies, implemented in the 1980s and early 1990s, were not commercially successful ¿ the main reason being that they were far too expensive. This project will develop a practical Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology, using a multifunctional catalyst, that has the potential to reduce costs of the FT portion of a GTL facility by 35% or more. The cost reduction potential of this approach should provide a very strong springboard for overall GTL economic viability. In Phase I, the hydrodynamic aspects of the multifunctional catalyst were studied, preliminary kinetics of the FT reaction were established to enable the multifunctional FT catalyst to be compared to a conventional catalyst, and the viability of the multi-functional catalyst was proven in a three-phase reactor. In Phase II, the catalyst system will be optimized using a reactor model and tested under a range of process conditions. Stability tests will confirm the deactivation characteristics of the catalyst, and an economic evalutaion will establish the viability of this new FT process. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: The technology has the potential to reduce both fixed and variable costs by allowing simpler reactor designs and reducing raw-material consumption through better product selectivity. It could be applied to a wide variety of multi-phase reactions, such as the cost-effective conversion of stranded natural gas to clean-fuels via the Fischer-Tropsch¿s reaction.
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