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Primus Green Energy, partner commission FEED study on new GTL plant; gasoline the end product

Primus Green Energy Inc., along with a global petrochemical company as a joint venture partner, has commissioned a Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) study with IHI E&C International Corporation for a first of its kind natural gas-to-gasoline plant in Texas.

The proposed joint venture plant will be a scaled-up version of Primus’s demonstration plant in New Jersey, which has safely and successfully produced methanol and gasoline. Underpinning the project is Primus’s patented STG+ technology, which has been validated through more than 10,000 hours of operation. The proposed Texas plant will consume 28 MMcf/d of natural gas and produce 2,800 bbl/d of gasoline.

The FEED study is expected to conclude mid-2020.

Primus is pleased to join forces with a strategic, large partner with significant experience in natural gas derivatives. We expect to follow this first project with several others in North America and prospectively worldwide.

—Steven Murray, Chief Executive Officer of Primus

With STG+® technology at its core, Primus’ Gas-to-Gasoline system is simple to operate and is not labor intensive. It produces high-quality gasoline or diluent directly from a wide range of hydrocarbon gas types. Unlike large stick-built units, our modular gasoline units are uniquely designed to be cost-effective at scales as small as 500 barrels per day (bpd) and the catalysts used have a lifetime >5 years.

The Primus Gas-to-Gasoline STG+ system takes place in a continuous gas-phase closed loop, with no intermediate condensation steps.

  • Steam Methane Reforming. Natural gas or other hydrocarbon gas reacts with steam at a high temperature and pressure to produce syngas (H2, CO and CO2).

  • Syngas-to-Gasoline. A series of catalytic fixed-bed reactors convert the syngas into gasoline and water via methanol and dimethyl ether intermediates.

  • Liquid/Gas Separation. The products are cooled and condensed. The gasoline product is sent to storage; the water is reused to make steam for the reformer; and the unconverted gas is recycled, with a portion being used to fuel the reformer.


IHI E&C is an experienced contractor with directly relevant past projects in gas-to-liquids (GTL) and Steam Methane Reforming technology.

Koch Modular Process Systems, a world leading supplier of modular plants to the chemical industry, has collaborated with Primus over the past number of years in the optimization of this technology.


consume 28 MMcf/d of natural gas and produce 2,800 bbl/d of gasoline.

Let's see.  Natural gas is about 1036 BTU/scf, so this is about 29 billion BTU/d input.  The product is 2800 bbl/d.  A barrel is 42 gallons and a gallon of straight gasoline has something like 120,000 BTU of energy, so the output has roughly 14 billion BTU/d of energy.

Efficiency roughly 49%.  Can't we do better?  More to the point, you call that "green"?


If they use renewable methane it is.


If you're using renewable methane, it's nigh-criminal to get 49% out of it instead of close to 100% by using it as CNG fuel.


Agree wholeheartedly. What a waste of time and energy to resort to fossil fuel philosophy. If done so at all, then sensibly.
No means of energy is distributed so environmentally friendly, quickly and efficiently as electric power. No drive, other than electric, achieves such high efficiencies and full torque from the first revolution.
A highly efficient gas turbine in stand-by mode can be used to stabilize the grid due to its physical properties. Additionally, waste heat can be used for respective processes and heating purposes to increase overall efficiency even more so.
It's alright to fool oneself but don't attempt to fool others.


Here is a portable gasifier that goes where the biomass is.


It doesn't matter where the gasifier goes if you can't use the gas where it is.  You have to turn things into a product you can get out to consumers.  Methane doesn't work without a pipeline.  Electricity doesn't work without wires.


You can't run the existing ICE fleet on electricity, so developing greener drop-in fuels has to be a good thing. Scrapping vehicles prematurely through scappage scheme, to me is a waste.

We need effort to go down the Co2 capture and convert route. I don't see why this cannot sit alongside electric technology constrained by the availability of rare earth resources. Horse for coures and that kind of thing.


@ EP
The grid penetrates almost everywhere, pipelines don't.

You can't run the existing ICE fleet on electricity

Don't need to.  The current fleet travels half its lifetime mileage in its first 6 years.  We don't have to do anything but wait for it to be retired.  We need to fix things going forward.

developing greener drop-in fuels has to be a good thing.

Greener yes, but I question "drop-in".  We need to make a break with fossil fuels, which means we can't have them "leaking" into new systems.  To that end, we should be looking to renewable fuels which are sufficiently different from petroleum that oil products don't work in the new vehicles.  A certain amount of backwards compatibility is fine, such as 20% mixed alcohols in gasoline (Fiat's A20 experiment).  Methanol fits both requirements.

We need effort to go down the Co2 capture and convert route.

The problem is way too big for that, and that way is far too energy-intensive.  But here's a bit of chemistry to pique your interest:

(1) CH4 + H2O + Δ -> CO + 3 H2
(2) CH4 + CO2 + Δ -> 2 CO + 2 H2

Combine (1) and (2).

(3) 3 CH4 + 2 H2O + CO2 + Δ -> 4 CO + 8 H2

(4) 4 CO + 8 H2 -> 4 CH3OH

Higher heating value of methane is 888 kJ/mol, total 2.66 MJ on the left side of (3).  Higher heating value of MeOH is 726 kJ/mol, total 2.90 MJ on the right side of (4).  The net gain is about 9%, the reaction converts CO2 to fuel and all you need is heat at 1000°C or so.

I don't see why this cannot sit alongside electric technology constrained by the availability of rare earth resources.

We only need rare earths for permanent magnets.  Much if not most of what we need to do can use induction motors, which need only transformer steel and conductors.  GM's BAS system uses an induction generator.

The grid penetrates almost everywhere

Among the places it doesn't penetrate are the forests where a lot of this biomass is generated.  If you're going to move the gasifier up close to the source, you're going to need products that go onto trucks easily.  I have no objection to electric generation, and a certain amount of electric generation would allow the trucks and log skidders and such to be battery-powered.  You're just going to have to convert most of your stuff to dense solids and storable liquids.


STG gasoline IS drop in,
we can create 10% bio synthetic to go along with 10% cellulose ethanol.
Engines will be with us for decades, no amount of wishing will change that.

STG gasoline IS drop in

And that is the problem.  We need to NOT make the renewable fuels compatible with fossil fuels.  The new system must keep fossil fuels (carbon) OUT.

we can create 10% bio synthetic to go along with 10% cellulose ethanol.

You're missing 80% there.  E85 is good for now but we need 100% and MORE elimination of fossil carbon emissions.  Yes, that means major negative emissions.  "Drop-in fuels" which allow fossil fuels into the system have no place going forward.  None.

Engines will be with us for decades

Engines do not need to run on fossil fuels; Henry Ford himself thought of biofuels.  But the role of engines needs to shrink rapidly and also the energy-share of the fuel they use.

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