Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI) successfully produced FT synthetic fuel from synthesis gas with an admixture of 20% CO2. Sumitomo envisions producing liquid fuel using CO2 emitted from power plants, factories, and other sources as a raw material.
In most conventional cases of FT synthesis (Gas-To-Liquids process), the raw material has been synthesis gas produced by steam reforming of natural gas, mainly containing methane together with steam. However there were issues with this approach such as a drop in partial pressure of synthesis gas when CO2 enters the reaction system, and a decarbonation unit has been required to remove CO2 at the stage before the FT reactor.
With the aim of realizing a two-stage synthetic fuel process, consisting of a reverse shift reactor (reactor for producing carbon monoxide (CO) from CO2) and a FT reactor, while using CO2 and hydrogen as raw materials, SHI recently succeeded in producing synthetic liquid fuel from synthesis gas containing 20% CO2 by using a new catalyst developed independently by SHI.
Comparison of conventional GTL process and SHI process
Going forward, SHI will continue optimizing the reaction and catalysts, and scaling up in order to achieve fuel synthesis using CO2 and hydrogen produced by SHI’s biomass power plants, or synthesis gas produced by SHI’s gasifiers, as raw materials.
Sample chromatogram of middle distillate obtained in this FT synthesis
This development was carried out with the cooperation of the Gunma Prefectural Industrial Technology Center.