Department

Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Drs. John Myers

Second Advisor

David Bell

Description

Currently, the steady increases in oil prices have heightened the interest in synthetic liquid fuel sources derived from natural gas. Furthermore, there are a lot of positive experiences with natural gas in the last few decades involving abundance and cleaner energy. . Natural gas to liquid fuel via Fischer - Tropsch reac tors produces diesel and other useful hydrocarbons. This catalytic GTL (gas to liquid) process converts methane gas (C1) to longer liquid hydrocarbon chains between C5 and C22. These longer hydrocarbon chains can then be utilized as liquid fuels after be ing refined to diesel. This project has four main stages to achieve the estimated production of diesel at 500 MM lb/yr. These include the Auto - Thermal Reformer for creating syngas from methane, Fisher - Tropsch Reactor for converting syngas to long hydrocarb on chains, Hydrocracker to cut down hydrocarbon chains into desired lengths, and product upgrading/refining for further separation of diesel chains. The fixed capital costs of the simulated plant run upwards of $1.2 Billon with an IRR of 8% over a 20 year analysis. The key to success for this project is keeping overhead expenses low to obtain a substantial profit. Fischer - Tropsch technology, if made more economically viable, could be the future of abundant energy.

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Fischer - Tropsch Synthesis – Natural Gas to D iesel Fuel

Currently, the steady increases in oil prices have heightened the interest in synthetic liquid fuel sources derived from natural gas. Furthermore, there are a lot of positive experiences with natural gas in the last few decades involving abundance and cleaner energy. . Natural gas to liquid fuel via Fischer - Tropsch reac tors produces diesel and other useful hydrocarbons. This catalytic GTL (gas to liquid) process converts methane gas (C1) to longer liquid hydrocarbon chains between C5 and C22. These longer hydrocarbon chains can then be utilized as liquid fuels after be ing refined to diesel. This project has four main stages to achieve the estimated production of diesel at 500 MM lb/yr. These include the Auto - Thermal Reformer for creating syngas from methane, Fisher - Tropsch Reactor for converting syngas to long hydrocarb on chains, Hydrocracker to cut down hydrocarbon chains into desired lengths, and product upgrading/refining for further separation of diesel chains. The fixed capital costs of the simulated plant run upwards of $1.2 Billon with an IRR of 8% over a 20 year analysis. The key to success for this project is keeping overhead expenses low to obtain a substantial profit. Fischer - Tropsch technology, if made more economically viable, could be the future of abundant energy.