The University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa (Wits) COMPS (Centre of Materials and Process Synthesis) and Golden Nest recently commissioned and began operations of the Baodan Liquid Fuels Plant in Baoji, ShaanXi Province China. The plant will produce liquid fuels, such as diesel and gasoline, using a Fischer-Tropsch process fed by syngas from coal gasification.
The COMPS Golden Nest project was initiated in September 2004, and the construction of the plant was completed in January 2008. The plant uses advanced Fischer-Tropsch technology developed by Wits COMPS. The COMPS team has also developed a pilot plant for Linc Energy in Australia.
The Wits COMP F-T technology, which relies on a combination of a fixed bed catalytic system and an interconnection of units implementing a one-pass process, is modular and scaleable, and offers a lower capital cost than traditional F-T plants, with lower requirements for water and approximately 30% less CO2 output.
The ability to implement a one-pass process eliminates the need for equipment required for the conventional recycle-based systems, such as upstream air separation for gasifications, reformers for recycling methane from the tail gas and gas separation for the recycle process.
In September, Canada-based G4G Resources formed a wholly owned subsidiary—Alternative Fuels Corporation (AFC)—to produce synthetic fuels from municipal waste and stranded natural gas using the Wits COMPS F-T technology.
G4G says that it is working towards an exclusive agreement to implement the Wits COMPS technology throughout the world.