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Headwaters and CONSOL Energy Form Alliance to Explore Coal-to-Liquids Developments

Headwaters Incorporated has formed an alliance with CONSOL Energy, Inc. to investigate development of coal-to-liquids (CTL) plants utilizing CONSOL Energy’s eastern and western coal reserves.

Headwaters’ proprietary Fischer-Tropsch catalyst can be used in an indirect coal liquefaction plant to convert coal-derived syngas into synthetic diesel and other fuels. The company is also the owner of direct coal liquefaction technology (Bergius process) that is currently being deployed or studied for deployment in China, India and the Philippines. (Earlier post.)

Under the agreement, Headwaters and CONSOL Energy will work together to perform preliminary engineering, environmental and marketing activities related to potential development of several CONSOL Energy sites. These activities would support the construction of one or more coal-based facilities to produce liquid transportation fuels such as diesel, gasoline, LPG, and jet fuel. The facilities will be carbon dioxide capture-ready and may produce certain petrochemical feedstocks.

Headwaters is also a partner in a coal-to-liquids (CTL) project with Great River Energy and North American Coal Corporation that is in the early stages of developing a 40,000 barrels per day CTL facility in North Dakota. (Earlier post.)

With 4.3 billion tons of proven and recoverable coal reserves in the United States, CONSOL Energy is the largest producer of high-BTU bituminous coal in the nation. The company operates 15 mining complexes in six states.

Headwaters also offers a proprietary heavy oil upgrading technology—HCAT—to the traditional petroleum industry. Headwaters recently signed an agreement with a major European refinery to demonstrate the HCAT catalyst under commercial operating conditions. This will be the second major European refinery to utilize the HCAT catalyst at commercial scale. The HCAT catalyst technology has also been deployed in two separate runs at a commercial heavy oil hydrocracking unit located in a major North American refinery.

The process uses the HCAT liquid catalyst precursor to generate a highly active molecular catalyst to convert residual oil feedstocks into higher-value distillates that can be easily refined into gasoline, diesel and other fuel products. HCAT improves the conversion, product quality, and potentially increases the throughput that can be processed in the reactors. The heavy oil upgrading catalyst technology is used by Headwaters Heavy Oil under an exclusive license from the Alberta Science and Research Authority and the Alberta Research Council Inc.


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