Project No: FE0010482
Performer: University of Kentucky


Contacts

Jenny Tennant
Technology Manager
Coal and Coal/Biomass to Liquids
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880, MS B17
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880
(304) 285-4830
jenny.tennant@netl.doe.gov

Arun Bose
Federal Project Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
626 Cochrans Mill Road
P.O. Box 10940
Pittsburgh, PA 15236-0940
(412) 386-4467
arun.bose@netl.doe.gov

Rodney Andrews
Principal Investigator
University of Kentucky
Center for Applied Energy Research
2624 Research Park Dr.
Lexington, KY 40511-8479
Phone: (859) 257-0265
rodney.andrews@uky.edu

Duration
Award Date:  10/01/2012
Project Date:  09/30/2016

Cost
DOE Share: $1,368,763.00
Performer Share: $469,496.00
Total Award Value: $1,838,259.00

Performer website: University of Kentucky - http://www.caer.uky.edu/

Advanced Energy Systems - Coal and Coal/Biomass to Liquids

Small Scale Pilot Plant for the Gasification of Coal and Coal/Biomass Blends and Conversion of Derived Syngas to Liquid Fuels Via Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis

Project Description

The overarching goal of this project is to advance the design, construction and operations of a coal/biomass-to-liquids (CBTL) facility at the University of Kentucky (UK) Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) at 1 barrel per day (bbl/day) liquid fuels capacity.

Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis Rig

Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis Rig


Program Background and Project Benefits

The Department of Energy (DOE) is committed to supporting research focused on making use of the nation's coal and biomass resources. The Coal and Coal Biomass to Liquids (C&CBTL) Technology Program at DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is developing advanced technologies to remove technical barriers that will foster the commercial adoption of coal and coal/biomass gasification technologies for the production of affordable hydrogen and liquid fuels (such as gasoline, diesel, aviation, and military fuels). The hydrogen can be used in advanced systems for efficient power generation produced with near-zero emissions and with the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The synthesis gas (syngas) produced by the gasification of coal and coal/biomass mixtures can be converted by chemical processes to generate clean liquid hydrocarbon fuels. To successfully complete the development of C&CBTL technologies from the present state to the point of commercial readiness, the C&CBTL Program efforts are focused on two Key Technologies: (1) Coal/Biomass Feed and Gasification, and (2) Advanced Fuels Synthesis.

The Coal/Biomass Feed and Gasification Key Technology is advancing scientific knowledge of the production of liquid hydrocarbon fuels from coal and/or coal-biomass mixtures. Activities support research for handling and processing of coal/biomass mixtures, ensuring those mixtures are compatible with feed delivery systems, identifying potential impacts on downstream components, catalyst and reactor optimization, and characterizing the range of products and product quality.

The University of Kentucky will advance the design, construction, and operations of a coal/biomass-to-liquids facility at its Center for Applied Energy Research. The facility will have a one barrel per day liquids fuel capacity. This project will develop meaningful research and engineering about the technology and processes, scalability, cost and economics, and the product slate, characteristics, and quality. Coal-to-liquid technology is helping the United States in its quest for energy security and independence and will enable American companies to produce valuable products from domestic coal.

This project is closely aligned with project number DE-FC26-08NT0005988 under which The Coal Fuels Alliance, led by the University of Kentucky will advance the design and construction of a Coal/Biomass-to-Liquids Process Development Unit (PDU) facility at its Center for Applied Energy Research.


Project Scope and Technology Readiness Level

The scope of this project entails satisfying the remaining capital requirements of UK’s existing CBTL facility with the addition of downstream refinery process units for water-gas-shift, FT synthesis, and hydrocracking; the installation, commissioning, and shakedown of these units; the acquisition, preparation, and handling of suitable coal and biomass feed stocks; the commencement of initial integrated runs of the whole refinery (from feed to gasification to product separations and upgrading) to insure operability, reliability, and safety and that the refinery can be operated at steady state; continuous production runs of the mini-refinery to produce quantities of liquid hydrocarbons; and the commencement of meaningful research and engineering about the technology and processes, scalability, cost, and economics, and the product slate, characteristics, and quality.

The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) assessment identifies the current state of readiness of the key technologies being developed under the DOE's Clean Coal Research Program. This project has not been assessed.

The TRL assessment process and its results including definition and description of the levels may be found in the "2012 Technology Readiness Assessment-Analysis of Active Research Portfolio".