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Maverick Synfuels introduces affordable small-scale methane gas-to-liquid modular methanol plants

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 into the atmosphere.

The Maverick Oasis factory-built Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) methanol plants are modular, and can be rapidly deployed onsite to produce thousands of gallons per day of methanol from natural gas or methane-rich waste gas. The plants are designed to be low-cost, highly efficient facilities optimized to generate an attractive project rate of return. Each Oasis modular facility comes equipped with performance guarantees based on the designed methanol output rating.

The Maverick Oasis system uses proprietary technology to convert a variety of methane-containing feedstocks—biogas, natural gas (including stranded gas and flare gas), coal bed methane, and landfill gas—into AA grade methanol that meets ASTM D1152 specifications.

With a footprint of just 5,000 square feet (465 m2), each plant is modular so that it can be shipped to the operational location, where it is assembled by a team of Maverick engineers and integrated with the local infrastructure.

Each modular facility will produce between 3,000 and 10,000 gallons per day of methanol that is consumed onsite or transported to nearby markets. By using standard assembly line manufacturing processes, Maverick Oasis significantly reduces the capital requirements and delivery time (9 – 12 months) compared to larger plants that must be built on site.

At this scale, the Maverick Oasis system is the first commercially proven technology that converts low-value gas feedstocks into methanol and higher-value products.

—Jeff Harrison, Maverick’s Chief Engineering Officer

Maverick Oasis is feedstock flexible and can be located at the feedstock source:

  • Agriculture Digesters: For dairy farms, waste water treatment plants, and other facilities that use anaerobic digesters to process animal, food, and other organic waste, Maverick Oasis offers more vertical integration with clean fuel products and an alternative to traditional electricity generation.

  • Landfill Methane Collection: Maverick Oasis provides another use for methane that would either be flared or vented into the atmosphere, and the methanol that is produced provides a higher value return than typical electricity generation.

  • Oil and Gas Fields: Maverick Oasis takes advantage of both stranded natural gas reserves and associated (flare) gas found when drilling for petroleum.

With Maverick Oasis, these gas reserves can be converted into methanol, a transportable product which is a highly valued commodity, and which can be used directly or converted to other fuels like clean diesel, jet fuel, and higher-value products.

—Sam Yenne, Maverick CEO

Converting methane gas to liquid methanol is one component of Maverick’s “spoke and hub” distributed production strategy that builds on the company’s patented Olefinity technology.

With the Olefinity process, olefins (2-5 carbon chains with one double bond) are produced directly using Fisher-Tropsch (FT) synthesis or indirectly using a Methanol-to-Olefins (MTO) synthesis process.Converting methane gas to methanol liquid is one component of Maverick’s “spoke and hub” distributed production strategy that builds on the Olefinity technology.

Methanol produced at small-scale GTL plants (“spokes”) located at the waste gas source is easily transportable to larger “hub” facilities, where it can be converted to higher value products such as clean transportation fuels including Dimethyl ether, diesel and jet fuel, or specialty chemicals like propylene using Maverick’s olefins-based processes. This approach significantly reduces capital requirements for converting low-value feedstocks such as waste methane into higher value products.

In the future, methanol produced at Maverick Oasis “spokes” located at the waste gas source is easily transportable to larger “hub” facilities, where it can be converted to higher value products such as clean transportation fuels, including dimethyl ether, diesel and jet fuel, or specialty chemicals such as propylene using Maverick’s olefins based processes.

Methanol is a versatile commodity that offers multiple application possibilities:

  • Methanol is an important intermediate for producing high-value products, including olefins, acetic acid, formaldehyde, plastics, resins, and other chemical products in addition to being used to produce biodiesel, to prevent hydrate formation, and to denitrify waste water.

  • In some markets, methanol can be blended with gasoline (M15, M85) or used directly as M100. Methanol can also be used in fuel cells or further synthesized into dimethyl ether (a diesel and LPG substitute), diesel and jet fuel. Methanol blends make environmentally superior fuels that improve combustion, burn cleanly, and reduce emissions.

Maverick is pursuing opportunities to build and operate the Maverick Oasis platform, and is interested in having discussions with potential strategic partners.

In July, Maverick Synfuels and Petrostar Petroleum Corporation, a Canadian-based oil and gas exploration company, formed Maverick Northstar, Inc., a joint venture to facilitate the deployment and operation of gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology in the Canadian Provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. (Earlier post.)


Keith D. Patch

The cost of removing H2S from stranded natural gas, as well as the cost of removing siloxanes from landfill gas is very high, and usually ruins the economics of many of these innovative, site-based solutions. I see no mention of how Maverick addresses this important issue.

Without effective, low-cost gas cleanup, this solution will never get widely deployed, and remain a niche solution.




"I see no mention of how Maverick addresses this important issue."

You have no evidence that they have not either.


Reaction with iron oxide - h2s removal

Activated carbon - siloxane removal

This have been done for a long time, I see no reason that it can not be done here.


If Maverick won't catch on, then why is Germany moving ahead with biogas utilization, to the point of upgrading it to pipeline quality? That requires considerable H2S removal. It's reported that only 2% or so of the energy value of the biogas is spent on scrubbing.

Microplants may be the best way to move ahead on the latest organosynthetic technology. One thing left out is the use of syngas for methanol fermentation, which will probably beat biomass.


The latest Haldor announcement says that they designed their GTL units to be put in smaller remote locations, they clean up the natural gas out of the ground and make transportation fuels using MTG.

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