Researchers Develop New Method for the Direct Liquefaction of Biomass to Biopetroleum
In-Use Study on B20 in Transit Buses Finds Slight Decrease in Fuel Economy, Equivalent Reliability to ULSD Buses

W. Virginia Agrees to $196M in Tax Breaks for CTL Plant

Charleston Gazette. The state of West Virginia has agreed to give $196 million in tax breaks and other incentives to Northern Appalachia Fuel LLC (NAF), the developer of a proposed coal-to-liquids plant near Benwood, West Virginia. NAF is a joint venture between CONSOL Energy Inc. and Synthesis Energy Systems Inc. (Earlier post.)

The incentives include up to $160 million in Economic Opportunity Tax Credits; tax increment financing of up to $35 million; $120,000 in funding for employee training; and up to $800,000 over a two-year period if necessary to further improve the access road to the facility.

The plant is targeted to produce 720,000 metric tons per year of methanol that can be used as a feedstock for the chemical industry. The partners also expect that the project will be capable of converting methanol production to approximately 100 million gallons/year of 87 octane gasoline.



Good for them....hope they're successful...

Why not make ethanol too?


Why not ethanol?

Because the chemistry for ethanol is more complicated than methanol and the market is different.

That plant is for chemical products, not transportation fuel.

This is not a synfuel play but an arbitrage between natural gas, the traditional feedstock for methanol synthesis, and coal, more complex to handle, gasify and clean-up (plus it requires a pretty beefy water shift stage to adjust the H2/CO ratio in the syngas), but much, much cheaper now that NG prices have gone through the roof.


And Diesel?

And why not diesel?

Because it's not a FT diesel plant. That's why.

It's a methanol plant (with an hypothetical MTG conversion to gasoline but this part of the plant, I'm pretty sure, will never be built. Just sugar coating for good PR).

You can always write to NAF LLC and ask them to invest in FT rather than methanol. May be it will work.

Al G

And why not cotton candy?

Mmmmmm.... cotton... candy...

Cotton candy is bad for your teeth.

Henry Gibson

Methanol can be used in present diesel engines if injected into the input air in quantities up to 70% of the required energy, sometimes more. It can also be mixed directly with diesel at a much much smaller percentage. A previous article reported the direct injection of methanol for much higher performances from spark injection engines.

Many automobiles could be retrofitted to burn methanol or ethanol from a separate tank to provide part or all of the fuel needed.

Compressed methane (natural gas) is probably the least costly partial substitute for diesel and it could provide 70%-80% of the energy needed for regular diesel engines if injected into the intake air at the right time. There is a great deal of space underneath most trailers for pressure tanks.

The higher price for diesel than gasoline is due to speculation and profit taking on all levels of the petroleum industry. Diesel is much easier and cheaper to produce than gasoline.

The trucking industry should adopt and promote methanol as an additional fuel and have it available at truck stops. The government should guarantee a price for bio-mass, coal and natural gas produced methanol and give massive loans to oil industry independent producers. The methanol production can be diverted to, propane like, DME which is a cleaner diesel fuel than diesel. Methanol is cheaper to produce than ethanol, but all semis should be equipped to burn either along with diesel or DME if they are not equipped to burn natural gas.

Natural gas can be made quickly and easily from corn, sugar, waste fruit, potatoes, sugar beets, other beets, grains and vegetables. It can be made with more difficulty from manure, wood waste, leaves grass, paper and other biomass. High temperature pressure cookers can make biomass much more digestible. Methane is now being extracted from coal seams, and coal seams might even be partially digested by bacteria to produce methane. Depleted oil fields may also allow for bacterial digestion. Depleted oil fields, that can be saturated with liquid carbon dioxide, will release much methane, ethane and perhaps propane and butane. Ethane can be stored in liquid form at very high pressures and low temperatures similar to carbon dioxide. Ethane would be a much more compact fuel than methane.

A process to partially oxidize methane to methanol is the, as yet, impossible major goal of petroleum chemistry. When it can be done in apreciable quantities, oil prices will plummet; they are only a product of government control of world oil production and government allowed speculation on this government limited commodity.

Coal to liquid plants are not being used now, only because there has not been the time or money to build them. At even $100 a ton, the coal energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline costs 75 cents or less.

Waste coal and very cheap coal along with biomass wastes can be used to make methanol at even cheaper prices. ..HG..

The comments to this entry are closed.