Siluria and Wood launch Modus: process technology to convert low-value offgas into high-octane, low-sulfur gasoline blendstock

Siluria Technologies, developer of a catalytic oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) process to convert natural gas into liquid fuels or petrochemical building blocks (earlier post), and Wood, a leader in the delivery of project, engineering and technical services to energy and industrial markets, announced the availability of the Modus process... Read more →

WVU, NETL partner with Pitt, Shell to develop process to transform stranded natural gas into marketable products

Researchers at West Virginia University will lead a team that will investigate ways to convert stranded gas resources into value-added liquid products that could reduce the United States’ demand for crude oil by up to 20%. The WVU-led team will combine the capabilities of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)... Read more →

Sasol bails on $13-$15B US GTL project, divests from Canadian shale; no new greenfield GTL

At the company’s Capital Markets Day 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sasol management said that the company will no longer pursue its proposed ) project in the US (earlier post) and furthermore will not invest in additional greenfields gas-to-liquids (GTL) projects. In January 2015 Sasol announced it was delaying a... Read more →

Study concludes 20% synthetic diesel blend could reduce PM emissions in Beijing by ~19%

PM emissions from current vehicles in Beijing could be reduced by approximately 19% by simply blending 20% synthetic diesel with currently available diesel, according to a new study by Tsinghua University, the Desert Research Institute in Nevada and Greyrock Energy, a developer of gas-to-liquids technology. This improvement can be accomplished... Read more →

Velocys reports ENVIA’s GTL plant has reached 200 barrels/day milestone; confirms site for first US biorefinery

Velocys plc announced that production at ENVIA Energy’s Oklahoma City gas-to-liquids plant has reached an operational capacity of 200 barrels per day (bpd), passing a key capacity milestone. (Earlier post.) The plant will continue ramping up to its target operational capacity of 250 bpd. Finished, saleable products (premium renewable waxes,... Read more →

Greyrock, Tsinhua U, DRI to assess potential of synthetic diesel to improve air quality in China

Greyrock Energy, a developer of a gas-to-liquids (GTL) process that produces synthetic diesel, will participate with Tsinghua University of Beijing, China and the Desert Research Institute (DRI) of Reno, Nevada to quantify the positive impact on air quality from the use of synthetic diesel fuels as compared with petroleum derived... Read more →

Study suggests GTL-naphtha-gasoline-ethanol blends can function as well as gasoline with lower emissions

Results of a study by a team from the University of Birmingham (UK) and Shell Global Solutions suggest that blends of gasoline with gas-to-liquids (GTL) naphtha can perform comparable combustion and full power output to conventional gasoline, with less than 2% difference in normalized ISFC (indicated specific fuel consumption) and... Read more →

Researchers clarify role of cetane number and aromaticity in soot-NOx tradeoff

A study by researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology has found that the “persistent diesel dogma” of “the higher the cetane number (CN) the better” relative to the soot-NOx trade-off is valid in neither conventional or low temperature combustion operation. The open-access study, published in the journal Fuel also reported... Read more →

A team from CoorsTek Membrane Sciences, the University of Oslo (Norway), and the Instituto de Tecnología Química (ITQ) (Spain) has developed a new process for the direct, non-oxidative conversion of methane to liquids—reducing cost, eliminating multiple process steps, and avoiding CO2 emissions. The process uses a novel ceramic membrane that... Read more →

Siluria Technologies has entered into a strategic partnership with Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions, the engineering and construction business of the Air Liquide Group, to collaborate on the development of novel catalytic processes utilizing both companies’ expertise in gas conversion technologies. The novel process offering will be developed using the... Read more →

A team at the University of Michigan has investigated the performance of three different fuels—ultralow sulfur diesel (ULSD), diesel fuel produced via a low temperature Fischer–Tropsch process (LTFT), and a renewable diesel (RD), which is a hydrotreated camelina oil under partially premixed compression ignition (PCCI) combustion. Their paper is published... Read more →

Primus Green Energy Inc., a gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology and solutions company that transforms methane and other hydrocarbon gases into gasoline and methanol (earlier post), has successfully produced 100-octane gasoline at its commercial demonstration plant in Hillsborough, New Jersey. Primus achieved this milestone as a result of an improvement to its... Read more →

As part of its R&D strategy, Linde has built a pilot reformer facility at Pullach near Munich—Linde’s largest location worldwide—to test dry-reforming technology. The dry reforming process catalytically combines CH4, the principal component of natural gas, and CO2 to produce syngas (CO and H2). Syngas is then used to produce... Read more →

According to a new lifecycle analysis by a team at Carnegie Mellon University, a battery electric vehicle (BEV) powered with natural gas-based electricity achieves around an average 40% lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction when compared to a conventional gasoline vehicle. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), either with a 30- or 60-km... Read more →

Fulcrum Bioenergy awards $200M EPC contract to Abengoa for MSW-to-jet plant

Fulcrum BioEnergy has awarded a $200-million fixed-price engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to Abengoa for the construction of Fulcrum’s first municipal solid waste (MSW) to transportation fuels facility, the Sierra BioFuels Plant. The Sierra BioFuels Plant will utilize Fulcrum’s process for converting MSW into renewable syncrude that will then... Read more →

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final greenhouse gas (GHG) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) construction permit to Natgasoline LLC to construct a new motor-grade gasoline production facility in Texas that uses natural gas as feedstock (gas-to-gasoline, or GtG). Natgasoline is a new wholly owned greenfield methanol... Read more →

Groundbreaking in Turkmenistan for major synthetic gasoline plant; first full-scale Haldor Topsøe TIGAS facility

In August, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in Ovadan-Depe near the capital of Ashgabad in Turkmenistan to launch the construction of a major plant focused on the conversion of natural gas into synthetic gasoline. The plant will be based on Haldor Topsøe’s TIGAS (Topsøe Improved Gasoline Synthesis) technology (earlier post)... Read more →

Maverick Synfuels (earlier post) introduced a small-scale, modular methane-to-methanol production plant that can be co-located at the methane source. The Maverick Oasis system allows producers to monetize biogas and natural gas (including associated or flare gas, and stranded gas reserves), as an alternative to producing electricity or venting greenhouse gases... Read more →

USDA closes on $105M loan guarantee to Fulcrum for biorefinery converting municipal waste to renewable jet fuel; first USDA loan for biojet

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has closed on a $105-million Biorefinery Assistance Program loan guarantee through Bank of America, N.A. to Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels, LLC to build a biorefinery to produce jet fuel from municipal solid waste (MSW) via a proprietary two-stage thermochemical process. (Earlier post.) USDA Rural Development’s... Read more →

OCM company Siluria pulls in $30M in D round led by Saudi Aramco; methane to fuels and chemicals

Siluria Technologies, a pioneer in the commercialization of an oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) technology to produce ethylene from natural gas (earlier post), announced the initial close of its Series D financing round. The round was led by Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV), the venture investment subsidiary of Saudi Aramco... Read more →

Calysta reports 8-fold improvement in gas fermentation in ARPA-E program; BioGTL

Calysta, Inc. reported that it has achieved 8-fold improved performance over traditional fermentation technologies in a high mass transfer bioreactor. The bioreactor technology is under development for efficient methane-to-liquids fermentation processes, enabling rapid, cost-effective methane conversion into protein, industrial chemicals and fuels. (Earlier post.) The improved performance was achieved in... Read more →

Overview of the CUGP processes. Credit: ACS, Zhang et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers in South Korea are suggesting two new carbon-dioxide-utilized Gas-to-Liquids processes (CUGP) to increase the overall efficiency of conventional Fischer-Tropsch GTL. In a paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, they report that the two... Read more →

Impact of GTL diesel blending (5% penetration relative to refinery crude input) on US average overall refinery efficiency. Credit: ACS, Forman et al. Click to enlarge. A team from Sasol Synfuels, Jacobs Consultancy and Argonne National Laboratory has used results from a US industry-wide linear programming (LP) modeling study of... Read more →

DOE releases five-year strategic plan, 2014-2018; supporting “all of the above” energy strategy

The US Department of Energy (DOE) released its five-year 2014-2018 Strategic Plan. The plan is organized into 12 strategic objectives aimed at three distinct goals: Science and Energy; Nuclear Security; and Management and Performance. These objectives represent broad cross-cutting and collaborative efforts across DOE headquarters, site offices, and national laboratories.... Read more →

Synthetic biology company launches JV to commercialize gas-to-liquids bioconversion; isobutanol first target

Synthetic biology company Intrexon Corporation has formed Intrexon Energy Partners (IEP), a joint venture with a group of external investors, to optimize and to scale-up Intrexon’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) bioconversion platform. IEP’s first target product is isobutanol for gasoline blending. Intrexon’s natural gas upgrading program is targeting the development of an... Read more →

Velocys, Waste Management, NRG Energy and Ventech form JV for small-scale gas-to-liquids plants

Velocys plc, a developer of smaller-scale microchannel gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology, has entered a joint venture (JV) with Waste Management, NRG Energy (NRG), and Ventech Engineers International (Ventech) to develop gas-to-liquids (GTL) plants in the United States and other select geographies. The JV will pursue the development of multiple plants utilizing... Read more →

Siluria Technologies unveils new development unit for liquid fuels from natural gas based on OCM and ETL technologies

Siluria Technologies, the developer of novel bio-templated catalysts for the economic direct conversion of methane (CH4) to ethylene (C2H4) (earlier post), unveiled a development unit for producing liquid fuels from natural gas based on Siluria’s proprietary oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) and ethylene-to-liquid (ETL) technologies. Together, Siluria’s OCM and ETL... Read more →

Researchers develop new lower-temperature process for conversion of natural gas alkanes to alcohols

Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and Brigham Young University have devised a new and more efficient method to convert natural gas into liquid products at much lower temperatures than conventional methods. Their work, reported in the journal Science, uses main-group metals such as thallium and lead to oxidize... Read more →

Shell announced the production of the first clear base oil—the main component of motor oils—made from natural gas using its gas-to-liquids (GTL) PurePlus Technology. Shell PurePlus Technology is now being used to create motor oils for motorists in the United States. Pennzoil Platinum and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic motor... Read more →

Primus Green Energy Inc., an alternative fuel company that converts natural gas and other feedstocks directly into drop-in transportation fuels and solvents (earlier post), announced that its patent application covering its STG+ liquid fuel synthesis technology has been allowed by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). STG+ produces high-quality,... Read more →

Sasol, GE develop new anaerobic microbial technology for cleaning of Fischer-Tropsch waste water; boosting gas-to-liquids (GTL) value proposition

Sasol and General Electric (GE: NYSE)’s GE Power & Water have together developed new technology that will clean waste water from Fischer-Tropsch plants used to produce synthetic fuels and chemicals, while also providing biogas as a by-product for power generation. The new Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor Technology (AnMBR) will be further... Read more →

Pinto Energy to build 2,800 bpd small-scale GTL plant in Ashtabula; Velocys microchannel technology

Pinto Energy LLC (Pinto), a developer of smaller scale Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) facilities, will build a 2,800 barrel per day (bpd) GTL plant at Pinto’s 80-acre industrial site to the east of Ashtabula, Ohio. The plant will convert abundant low-cost natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shale region into high-value... Read more →

ARPA-E awarding $3.5M to Berkeley Lab project to develop novel enzymatic gas-to-liquids pathway

On 19 September, the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) awarded $34 million to 15 projects to find advanced biocatalyst technologies that can convert natural gas to liquid fuel for transportation. (Earlier post.) The largest award in the technical area of High-Efficiency Biological Methane Activation in the new program, (Reducing Emissions... Read more →

ARPA-E selects 33 projects for $66M in awards; advanced biocatalysts for gas-to-liquids and lightweight metals

The US Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is awarding around $66 million to 33 projects under two new programs. One program, Reducing Emissions using Methanotrophic Organisms for Transportation Energy (REMOTE, earlier post), provides $34 million to 15 projects to find advanced biocatalyst technologies that can convert natural gas to liquid... Read more →

World energy consumption by fuel type, 2010-2040. Source: IEO2013. Click to enlarge. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA’s) International Energy Outlook 2013 (IEO2013) projects that world energy consumption will grow by 56% between 2010 and 2040, from 524 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) to 820 quadrillion Btu. Most of this... Read more →

Fulcrum BioEnergy demonstrates integrated process to convert MSW to jet and diesel; $4.7M DoD grant to begin plant engineering

Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. has successfully demonstrated the conversion of municipal solid waste (MSW)—household garbage—into jet and diesel fuels. Fulcrum says its ability to produce drop-in fuels from MSW opens up an 80 billion gallon per year fuel market and expands its customer base for its national development program. This demonstrated... Read more →

Schematic diagram of the Primus STG+ process. Click to enlarge. Primus Green Energy Inc., developer of a proprietary process to produce gasoline and other fuels from biomass and/or natural gas (earlier post), will provide financial support to engineers at Princeton University for general research on synthetic fuels, which will include... Read more →

ARPA-E to award up to $20M to projects for bioconversion of methane to liquid fuels; seeking <$2/gge and ability to meet US demand for transportation fuels

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) has issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000881) for up to $20 million to fund the development of bioconversion technologies to convert methane into liquid fuels. (Earlier post.) This program envisions the development of transformative bioconversion technologies that... Read more →

China-US team develops new platinum-cobalt nanocatalysts for low-temperature aqueous phase Fischer-Tropsch synthesis

Researchers from China and the US have developed Pt−Co nanoparticles (NPs) which proved to be effective and efficient catalysts for aqueous-phase Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) at 433 K (160 °C)—a lower operational temperature than can be achieved with conventional catalysts. A report on their work is published in the Journal of... Read more →

Researchers develop new Fischer-Tropsch catalyst and production method; Total patents both

A team of researchers led by University of Amsterdam (UvA) chemists has developed new Fischer-Tropsch catalysts—consisting of ultra-thin cobalt shells surrounding inexpensive iron oxide cores—that can be used to produce synthetic fuels from natural gas and biomass. The method used to produce the catalysts is based on an approach previously... Read more →

The ExxonMobil MTG process flow diagram. Source: EMRE. Click to enlarge. G2X Energy, Inc., a developer of natural gas to gasoline projects, entered into a licensing agreement to use ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company’s (EMRE’s) methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) technology (earlier post) in the development of a world-scale natural gas to gasoline... Read more →

Functional elements of the GEM*STAR reactor. Source: Muons, Inc. Click to enlarge. Muons, Inc., a private-sector high-energy accelerator physics firm, and ADNA (Accelerator-Driven Neutron Applications) Corp., are proposing using spent nuclear fuel (SNF), natural uranium, or excess weapons-grade plutonium (W-Pu) in a proposed GEM*STAR accelerator-driven subcritical reactor (ADSR) to provide... Read more →

Calysta is using its proprietary BioGTL biological gas-to-liquids platform to convert natural gas to liquid hydrocarbons. Click to enlarge. Start-up Calysta Energy plans to use methane as a feedstock for engineered organisms to produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels and high value chemicals that are cost-effective, scalable and reduce environmental impact. Current... Read more →

Using Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthetic fuel or blend can significantly reduce gaseous particulate matter and gaseous emissions compared to standard military jet (JP-8) fuel when used in a T63 gas-turbine helicopter engine, according to a new study by a team from the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies, Carnegie Mellon University and... Read more →

Top: Conventional F-T process. Bottom: SRI process. Click to enlarge. Researchers from SRI International (SRI) are developing a methane-and-coal-to-liquids process that consumes negligible amounts of water and does not generate carbon dioxide. Based on data from bench-scale tests, SRI engineers estimate that the capital cost for a full-scale plant using... Read more →

Aviation climate change impacts pathway. Credit: ACS, Stratton et al. Click to enlarge. A new study by researchers at MIT has found that factoring the non-CO2 combustion emissions and effects into the lifecycle of a Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (SPK) aviation fuel can lead to a decrease in the relative environmental... Read more →

Gas-to-liquids (GTL) process systems boundary with co-product displacement. Credit: ACS, Forman et al. Click to enlarge. Using a co-product displacement method (i.e., substitution) rather than an energy-based allocation method to assess the lifecycle (well-to-wheels, WTW) emissions of gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology results in WTW greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions lower than that... Read more →

Sasol and partners sign investment agreement to develop and implement GTL project with the Government of Uzbekistan

South African energy and chemicals group, Sasol, together with partners Uzbekneftegaz and PETRONAS, signed an investment agreement with the Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment and Trade for the Uzbekistan government, for the development and implementation of a gas-to-liquids (GTL) project in Uzbekistan. Based on results of an earlier feasibility... Read more →

South African energy and chemicals group Sasol today announced that it has chosen the southwestern region of the State of Louisiana as the site for a planned gas-to-liquids (GTL) facility. Sasol will embark on a feasibility study to evaluate the viability of a GTL venture in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, over... Read more →

Overview of the LanzaTech process. Click to enlarge. Worldwide industrial solutions company Harsco Corp. and LanzaTech have formed a strategic alliance to promote the capture and reuse of steel mill flue gases as an environmentally significant and beneficial source of energy. The alliance agreement, signed 16 Aug. at Harsco’s world... Read more →