Advanced Fuels Synthesis

The Advanced Fuels Synthesis Key Technology is focused on catalyst and reactor optimization for producing liquid hydrocarbon fuels and valuable by-products from coal/coal-biomass mixtures. The current focus is on making significant improvements in fuels synthesis product distribution, i.e., by developing catalysts that are not bound by the Anderson-Shultz-Flory distributions characteristic of conventional silica-, alumina- or zeolite-supported iron or cobalt Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) synthesis catalysts. Future work in this area may include direct coal conversion to higher value products such as aromatics needed for high altitude jet fuel, and solid carbon product by-products.

Fischer-Tropsch fuels synthesis

The Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) reaction converts a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, called syngas, into liquid hydrocarbons. This project is advancing F-T technology for converting syngas derived from gasification of coal and coal-biomass mixtures to liquid hydrocarbon fuels, and is evaluating the impacts of the addition of biomass to coal on product characteristics, carbon foot print, and economics.

Other fuels synthesis (not Fischer-Tropsch)

Altex is working to demonstrate the feasibility of producing liquid fuels from coal containing up to 15 percent lignocellulosic biomass.

Conversion of coal or coal/biomass mixtures to jet fuel

The following advanced coal-to-liquids R&D projects are being conducted to provide pathways forward to lead to the commercial production of coal-derived jet fuel that; has lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions less than or equal to conventional petroleum-based jet fuel production, is cost-competitive with conventional petroleum-based jet fuel, and uses U.S. mined coal or coal refuse as at least fifty-one (51) percent of the input feedstock on a BTU basis; i.e., higher heating value (HHV):  

Advanced Hydrogen Membranes

NETL's Office of Research and Development (ORD) is providing support to the Fossil Energy (FE) program efforts in the deployment of coal and biomass to liquid technologies through a diverse set of research activities that will surpass both the greenhouse gases footprint and economic standards of conventional processes. Activities include high-level assessments of power, aromatic, olefin, and industrial chemical markets to assess the best products to target in a polygeneration approach; performance and techno-economic assessments of the most promising polygeneration technologies to evaluate deployment at the plant level; and discovery work aimed at developing transformational chemistries, materials, reactors, and chemical processes to advance the efficiency and economics of polygeneration approaches.

Amorphous Alloy Membrane Fabrication

Liquefaction plant feasibility/impacts

The objective of this project is to determine the economic, technical, and financial feasibility of a coal-biomass-to-liquids facility in southern West Virginia and will include a market analysis for CBTL fuel.

Water-gas shift

TDA Research is working to advance coal biomass alternate liquids by developing cost-effective water-gas-shift catalysts.

Systems and Industry Analysis
As part of the support for the Coal and Coal-Biomass to Liquids key technology area, systems studies are being conducted to provide unbiased comparisons of competing technologies, determine the best way to integrate process technology steps, and predict the economic and environmental impacts of successful development.

Recently Completed Projects:

The other key technologies within Coal and Coal-Biomass to Liquids: