Functional elements of the GEM*STAR reactor. Source: Muons, Inc. Click to enlarge. Muons, Inc., a private-sector high-energy accelerator physics firm, and ADNA (Accelerator-Driven Neutron Applications) Corp., are proposing using spent nuclear fuel (SNF), natural uranium, or excess weapons-grade plutonium (W-Pu) in a proposed GEM*STAR accelerator-driven subcritical reactor (ADSR) to provide... Read more →


Calysta is using its proprietary BioGTL biological gas-to-liquids platform to convert natural gas to liquid hydrocarbons. Click to enlarge. Start-up Calysta Energy plans to use methane as a feedstock for engineered organisms to produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels and high value chemicals that are cost-effective, scalable and reduce environmental impact. Current... Read more →


Using Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthetic fuel or blend can significantly reduce gaseous particulate matter and gaseous emissions compared to standard military jet (JP-8) fuel when used in a T63 gas-turbine helicopter engine, according to a new study by a team from the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies, Carnegie Mellon University and... Read more →


Top: Conventional F-T process. Bottom: SRI process. Click to enlarge. Researchers from SRI International (SRI) are developing a methane-and-coal-to-liquids process that consumes negligible amounts of water and does not generate carbon dioxide. Based on data from bench-scale tests, SRI engineers estimate that the capital cost for a full-scale plant using... Read more →


Aviation climate change impacts pathway. Credit: ACS, Stratton et al. Click to enlarge. A new study by researchers at MIT has found that factoring the non-CO2 combustion emissions and effects into the lifecycle of a Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (SPK) aviation fuel can lead to a decrease in the relative environmental... Read more →


Gas-to-liquids (GTL) process systems boundary with co-product displacement. Credit: ACS, Forman et al. Click to enlarge. Using a co-product displacement method (i.e., substitution) rather than an energy-based allocation method to assess the lifecycle (well-to-wheels, WTW) emissions of gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology results in WTW greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions lower than that... Read more →


Sasol and partners sign investment agreement to develop and implement GTL project with the Government of Uzbekistan

South African energy and chemicals group, Sasol, together with partners Uzbekneftegaz and PETRONAS, signed an investment agreement with the Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment and Trade for the Uzbekistan government, for the development and implementation of a gas-to-liquids (GTL) project in Uzbekistan. Based on results of an earlier feasibility... Read more →


South African energy and chemicals group Sasol today announced that it has chosen the southwestern region of the State of Louisiana as the site for a planned gas-to-liquids (GTL) facility. Sasol will embark on a feasibility study to evaluate the viability of a GTL venture in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, over... Read more →


Overview of the LanzaTech process. Click to enlarge. Worldwide industrial solutions company Harsco Corp. and LanzaTech have formed a strategic alliance to promote the capture and reuse of steel mill flue gases as an environmentally significant and beneficial source of energy. The alliance agreement, signed 16 Aug. at Harsco’s world... Read more →


Chesapeake Energy to invest some $1B over 10 years to support natural gas demand, infrastructure and end-use technologies; $305M in initial investments in Clean Energy Fuels and Sundrop Fuels

Chesapeake Energy Corporation plans to create a $1.0-billion venture capital fund over the next 10 years, Chesapeake NG Ventures Corporation (CNGV), dedicated to identifying and investing in companies and technologies that will replace the use of gasoline and diesel with natural gas and natural gas-to-liquids (GTL) fuels. Chesapeake is the... Read more →


Overview of Carbon Sciences’ process. Click to enlarge. Carbon Sciences, Inc., a technology developer focusing on the conversion of carbon dioxide and methane to fuels, plans to produce samples of diesel fuel in an end-to-end process demonstration. In December 2010, Carbon Sciences announced a worldwide exclusive license agreement with the... Read more →


BP and Davy select 3 leading EPC contractors for BP/Davy Fischer-Tropsch commercial deployment

BP and Davy Process Technology announced collaborations with three EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contractors to promote the commercialization of the BP/Davy Fischer-Tropsch (FT) Process. The BP/Davy fixed-bed FT process produces diesel, jet fuel (JP8) and naphtha from natural gas, biomass- or coal-derived syngas. CB&I Lummus UK Limited, Jacobs Engineering... Read more →


Methanol-to-gasoline process flow diagram. Source: EMRE. Click to enlarge. At a recent hearing of the Alaska state legislature’s House Resources Committee, Deo van Wijk, chairman of Swiss company Janus Methanol AG (formed in 2007), outlined a potential approach to converting North Slope gas to gasoline via the combination of a... Read more →


Demonstration plant for small-scale offshore GTL on site at Petrobras refinery; production targeted for September

A recently-arrived integrated 6 barrel per day (bbl/day) microchannel GTL (gas-to-liquids) demonstration plant, designed to test the feasibility of small-scale offshore GTL, will produce a raw FT (Fischer-Tropsch) liquid and wax which can be further processed to provide a range of products or integrated into a crude oil stream for... Read more →


Estimate of synthetic fuel cost versus electricity price using (a) constant operation, (b) the same assumptions but with highly intermittent operation (a 20% capacity factor); and operating the electrolyzer at a higher current density with (c) constant operation and (d) highly intermittent operation. Graves et al. Click to enlarge. In... Read more →


Study Measures the Effect of Fischer-Tropsch Synthetic Jet Fuel on Emissions

A comprehensive emissions performance test of a business-class aircraft gas turbine engine burning fossil JP-8 fuel, synthetic FT fuel, and a 50/50 JP-8/FT blend found that emissions of trace gases, soot particles, and nucleation/growth PM were directly impacted by the sulfur and aromatic content of the fuel. FT fuels typically... Read more →


Toyota, Hino and Showa Shell to Test FT Diesel and Renewable Diesel Blend in Hybrid Transit Bus

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Hino Motors Ltd. (Hino) and Showa Shell Sekiyu K. K. (SSSKK) plan to begin trials on 1 July of a diesel-electric hybrid transit bus fueled by a mixture of Fischer-Tropsch diesel (FTD)—specifically, Shell’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) fuel—and hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), a type of renewable diesel offering... Read more →


Toyota, Hino and Showa Shell to Test FT Diesel and Renewable Diesel Blend in Hybrid Transit Bus

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Hino Motors Ltd. (Hino) and Showa Shell Sekiyu K. K. (SSSKK) plan to begin trials on 1 July of a diesel-electric hybrid transit bus fueled by a mixture of Fischer-Tropsch diesel (FTD)—specifically, Shell’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) fuel—and hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), a type of renewable diesel offering... Read more →


Successful Engineering Validation Flight of US Commercial Jet Using 40:60 Synthetic Jet Fuel Blend

United Airlines has conducted a successful engineering validation flight using Rentech’s certified synthetic jet fuel (RenJet). The validation flight was conducted using a 40:60 mix of Rentech’s synthetic jet fuel with conventional Jet A fuel in one of two engines on an Airbus 319 aircraft. The aircraft departed Denver International... Read more →


ECP Developing Plasma-Assisted Compact Fischer-Tropsch Gas-to-Liquids System

France-based ECP is developing compact plasma-assisted gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology based on the use of a Compact Plate Reformer and high-temperature iron catalyst. ECP’s Dr. Albin Czernichowski, a professor with the University of Orleans, France, presented two papers on different aspects of the system today at the 239th National Meeting of... Read more →


The Enerkem process has four steps: feedstock pre-treatment; gasification; syngas conditioning; and conversion. Click to enlarge. Waste Management has made a strategic investment in Enerkem, a developer of a thermochemical (gasification and catalytic synthesis) process to produce synthetic fuels and chemicals from biomass and waste, as part of Enerkem’s new... Read more →


Process scheme for a gas-to-liquids process utilizing CDR. Credit: ACS, Ha et al. Click to enlarge. A new process model developed by researchers at the Petroleum Displacement Technology Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT) suggests that incorporating carbon dioxide reforming of methane (CDR) into a gas-to-liquids (GTL)... Read more →


The Chinchilla Demonstration Facility combines UCG and GTL technologies Click to enlarge. During the first half of 2009, the Linc Energy Limited Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) to Liquids demonstration plant at Chinchilla (earlier post) ran four major production campaigns each of which has seen further improvements in plant performance, according... Read more →


Velocys Awarded Commercialization Grant for Microchannel Reactor Technology for Hydroprocessing to Upgrade Fischer-Tropsch Fuels and Heavy Petroleum Feedstock

A collaboration led by Velocys, Inc., the US subsidiary of UK-based Oxford Catalysts Group PLC, has been awarded a $5-million, 2.5-year commercialization grant to apply Velocys’ microchannel reactor technology to hydroprocessing for transportation fuels. (Earlier post.) The project focuses on hydrocracking to upgrade Fischer-Tropsch fuels and heavy petroleum feedstock for... Read more →


The Japan-GTL demonstration plant. Click to enlarge. The Japan-GTL consortium, formed in 2006 to commercialize a lower-cost gas-to-liquids GTL) process for the production of synthetic fuels and chemicals that does not require first removing carbon dioxide from the feedstock, has completed construction of its demonstration plant which will produce 500... Read more →


NASA and Partners Testing Coal and Gas F-T Synthetic Jet Fuels at 100% and 50% Blend

Sampling tubing and instrumentation control cables laid out on the pavement beside NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory in between synthetic fuels emission and engine performance tests at the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif. Credit: Tom Tschida, NASA. Click to enlarge. The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) and 11... Read more →


Oxford Catalysts Acquires Velocys; Focus on Accelerating Commercialization of Small-Scale Synthetic Fuel Systems

The Oxford Catalysts-Velosys combination will target cost-effective small-scale synthetic fuels production. Click to enlarge. UK-based Oxford Catalysts Group PLC has acquired Velocys, Inc. from Battelle Memorial Institute for $35 million, $5 million of which is in cash. Velocys is a leader in the design and development of microchannel process technology... Read more →


New Life-Cycle Analysis Concludes Neither GTL or CTL a “Reasonable Path” for Energy Security With Reduced GHG Emissions

High- and low-GHG emissions scenario for FT fuels. Click to enlarge. A new life-cycle study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) concludes that the use of either coal- (CTL) or natural gas-based (GTL) Fischer-Tropsch (FT) liquids will likely lead to significant increases in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to... Read more →


Franklin Mining and Synfuels International Sign Agreement for Non-FT Gas-to-Liquids Plant in Argentina

The four main steps of the Synfuels GTL process. This flow assumes a methane cracking method that also yields a commercially worthwhile syngas stream. Click to enlarge. Source: Synfuels International. Franklin Mining, Inc. and Synfuels International, Inc. signed a letter of agreement addressing the environment and steps to be taken... Read more →


Oxford Catalysts in Agreement for Small-Scale Fischer-Tropsch Applications

Oxford Catalysts Group PLC, a developer of novel catalyst technology (earlier post), has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a specialist technology developer for the deployment of Oxford’s proprietary catalysts in small scale Fischer-Tropsch (FT) applications, such as the conversion of bio-waste or flare gas into synthetic liquid... Read more →


Optimized Engines for Neat GTL Can Simultaneously Reduce Exhaust Emissions and Fuel Consumption

The concept for optimizing an engine for neat GTL. Optimization techniques are in blue, positive outcomes in green and negative outcomes in red. Some of the optimization techniques counter the negative outcomes of other optimization steps. Click to enlarge. Researchers from Toyota Motor Corporation, Hino Motors and Showa Shell have... Read more →


Velocys, Toyo Engineering and MODEC Form Alliance for Offshore Gas-To-Liquids

The partners are targeting installation of the GTL process on an FPSO (above). Battelle subsidiary Velocys Inc., Toyo Engineering Corporation and MODEC, Inc. have formed a joint development agreement (JDA) to develop and commercialize gas-to-liquids (GTL) facilities for offshore applications. Under the agreement, Velocys will advance its microchannel reactor and... Read more →


C-17 Flight Uses Fischer-Tropsch Fuel Blend in All Four Engines

C-17 taxis out for first flight on synthetic fuel blend. A C-17 Globemaster III took off 22 October on a flight using a 50:50 blend of Fischer-Tropsch synthetic and JP-8 fuels in all four fuel tanks. The fuel used was essentially the same fuel blend used in the earlier B-52H... Read more →


Chevron and AC Transit in Comprehensive B20 Biodiesel and GTL Fuel Test

Chevron and AC Transit, the transit operator for Alameda and Contra Costa counties in California (the San Francisco East Bay area), are conducting a test and evaluation of B20 biodiesel and synthetic GTL (Gas-to-Liquids) diesel. Cummins Engine and Cummins West are also participating in this test. The statistically valid test... Read more →


BP-MIT Research Partnership to Focus on Energy Conversion Technologies

BP plc and MIT have formed a research partnership to explore the conversion of low-value carbon feedstocks such as petcoke and coal to high-value products such as electricity, liquid fuels and chemicals, while minimizing carbon dioxide emissions. In establishing this partnership, BP also becomes the inaugural Founding Member of the... Read more →


Defense Department Contracts for 315,000 Gallons of Fischer-Tropsch Jet Fuel; Air Force Targeting 50% Synfuel Use (Domestic) by 2016

The US Defense Energy Support Center (DESC) has awarded a contract for 315,000 gallons of synthetic jet fuel to Shell Oil Products. The estimated contract value is approximately $1.1 million and the period of delivery is 1-31 August 2007. This purchase supports the US Air Force Synthetic Fuel Initiative, which... Read more →


Researchers Develop Device for the Photochemical Splitting of Carbon Dioxide

Solar splitting of CO2. Click to enlarge. Chemists at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have demonstrated the feasibility of the solar splitting of carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide and oxygen. Because their device is not yet optimized, they still need to input additional energy for the process to... Read more →


US Air Force Plans to Certify All B-52s for GTL-Blend Use by End of Year; On the Ground, More Electric Vehicles

If detailed analysis of flight test data and physical inspection prove out, the US Air Force plans to certify its entire B-52 bomber fleet for use of a GTL-JP8 blend by the end of the year. The Air Force recently concluded its flight and ground tests of the 50-50 GTL... Read more →


Qatar and Shell Launch Pearl Gas-to-Liquids Project

Qatar and Shell formally launched the Pearl Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) project today with the laying of the foundation stone. Pearl GTL is not only the world’s largest integrated GTL project, but also the largest energy project ever launched within the borders of Qatar. Upstream some 1.6 billion cubic feet of wellhead... Read more →


Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil Abandon Planned $7B Gas-to-Liquids Project

Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil Corporation have decided “not to progress” their planned Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) project. The two entities will instead pursue the development of the Barzan Project in Qatar’s North Field. The Qatar GTL project, with a planned initial capital investment of $7 billion, would have been the world’s... Read more →


Sinopec and Syntroleum Announce Joint Technology Development Plan for GTL/CTL in China

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) and Syntroleum Corporation (Syntroleum) announced more details on their recently-signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on the development and marketing of Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) and Coal-to-Liquids (CTL) technology in China. (Earlier post.) The MoU establishes a joint technology development effort to advance GTL and... Read more →


Syntroleum and Sinopec Sign MoU for GTL and CTL Plants in China; $100 Million to Flow to Syntroleum

Syntroleum and Sinopec have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to advance Fischer Tropsch (FT) technology in China, based on Syntroleum’s proprietary nitrogen-diluted synthesis gas conversion technology. Syntroleum CEO Jack Holmes made the announcement during the fourth-quarter earnings conference call. The deal would see the construction of a commercial-scale Gas-to-Liquids... Read more →


First Product Produced from Oryx GTL

The Oryx GTL (Gas-to-Liquids) plant in Qatar has successfully completed the start-up of the final process unit and has produced final GTL product. The plant will produce 34,000 barrels per day of liquid hydrocarbons (primarily synthetic diesel) from about 330-million cubic feet per day of natural gas from Qatar’s North... Read more →


Audi Running on GTL SynFuel at Davos

Audi’s GTL-fueled A8s. Audi, which is providing the chauffeur service at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2007, 23rd to 28th January in Davos, Switzerland, is running ten of its Audi A8 fleet there solely on Shell’s Gas-to-Liquids “SynFuel” diesel. All 80 of the long-wheelbase luxury A8s in Audi’s... Read more →


Albemarle Creates Alt-Fuels Division

Albemarle’s estimate of the growth of the GTL catalyst market. Click to enlarge. Albemarle Corporation, a leading global catalyst and specialty chemical maker, has created a new division focusing on alternative fuel technologies. To be led by Ray Hurley, formerly vice president for catalysts, the new division will focus on... Read more →


Syntroleum Signs Gas-to-Liquids Development Agreement with Kuwait for Papua New Guinea

Syntroleum Corporation has signed a Joint Development Agreement with Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company, K.S.C. (KUFPEC) to join in the development of a 50,000 barrel per day Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) facility in Papua New Guinea (PNG). When complete, the plant will produce 50,000 barrels per day of Syntroleum S-2 synthetic diesel—a... Read more →


Gas-to-Liquids Company Sells Exploration and Production Holdings

Syntroleum Corporation is selling its exploration and production holdings in Nigeria to Energy Equity Resources Limited. Syntroleum, developers of a compact Fischer-Tropsch process (Gas-to-Liquids and Coal-to-Liquids), could realize up to $25 million from this sale. Syntroleum had intended to generate revenue via oil and gas production as well as to... Read more →


Total To Reduce Gas Flaring by 50% by 2012; Overall Reduction of 70% Since 1998

International oil major Total announced that it will reduce gas flaring by 50% at its operated facilities worldwide by 2012. In 2000, the company had introduced a zero-flaring policy for new projects. Flaring is the burning of associated gas—produced whenever oil is produced—when it cannot be used for another purpose.... Read more →


Study: Oil Transition Carries Major Environmental Risks

Global supply of liquid hydrocarbons from all fossil resources and associated costs in dollars (top) and GHG emissions (bottom). Click to enlarge. The increasing use of substitute fossil-based liquid hydrocarbons—either unconventional crude oils or synthetic liquid fuels (synfuels)—will dramatically increase global greenhouse gas emissions unless mitigating steps are taken, according... Read more →