A Bad Week for GM
Honda’s New Hybrid...Snowblower

Rentech to Build New Coal-to-Liquids Plant

Sun Herald. Rentech is planning to build a new coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant in Adams County, Mississippi by 2010. The estimated cost is between $650 million and $750 million.

This is its second announced major plant, coming shortly after the company announced the acquisition of a nitrogen plant in Illinois which it plans to convert into a polygeneration facility, using gasified coal to produce power, Fischer-Tropsch fuels and fertilizer. (Earlier post.)

Adams County, home to Natchez, sits on the east bank of the Mississippi River, and Rentech would bring Illinois coal down the river as the feedstock.

According to Mark Koening, Director of Investor Relations at Rentech, the plant will produce a certain amount of export power along with the F-T fuels. The company is not yet releasing details on the plant, as some elements still need finalization with the county.

Rentech CEO Dennis Yakobson was a speaker at the just-concluded ASPO USA Denver World Oil Conference, and laid out his case for CTL/GTL as near-term viable solutions, depending upon proximity to the feedstock resources.

(For a conference report on the Denver World Oil Conference, see The Oil Drum.)




How about colour coding of fuels? Hydrogen from hydrocarbon reforming has been described as 'black' while hydrogen from solar powered electrolysis is 'green' as is ethanol. Petroleum fuels and CTL with in-plant CO2 capture could be 'grey'. CTL with no carbon capture would have to be seriously 'black'. Since neither the current US or Australian federal governments are likely to influence prices with carbon taxes customers can make up their own minds what kind of green-grey-black blend of fuel they want.


$650 million would build a hell of a solar array. Something like 100 MW. That would power a small city.


But it would only work during the day, and even so it wouldn't come close to the output of this thing.

I'm torn.  I don't like CTL, but the technology I'd prefer instead has not made it to market.


CTL is just another way to travel on the road to ruin. Sequester the CO2; then we will start talking.

And what does a "black" fuel have to do with a site called Green Car Congress?


Short answer: the FT fuels output.

Longer answer: it's clear that we're heading into an era that's going to require a mixture of solutions to support the future of transportation worldwide (let alone energy), some better, some worse along the black-green spectrum (a labeling idea that I really like, BTW, and that could actually have a quantitative basis to it).

Seems to me like a good idea to know about the different developments across the entire spectrum, the better to be able to make informed decisions (purchasing, voting, behavior, etc.)


The F-T plant could be run on biomass but it would make a rather small impact on global warming due to the inefficiency.

The comments to this entry are closed.