CCS and Power Systems

Advanced Energy Systems - Coal and Coal/Biomass to Liquids


Small Scale Coal Biomass Liquids Production Using Highly Selective Fischer Tropsch Catalyst


Performer: Southern Research Institute

Project No: FE0010231


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.

This Southern Research Institute project will (i) demonstrate the potential for CBTL cost reduction by maximizing the production of C5-C20 hydrocarbon liquids using a selective FTS catalyst and (ii) evaluate the impacts of the addition of biomass to coal on product characteristics, carbon foot print, and economics. The impact of this project will be to develop a cost-effective gasification-based CBTL process to produce renewable liquid fuels that will provide diversity of fuel supply and energy security while resulting in lower future capital and operating costs. Specifically this project will design, build, and test a novel bench-scale reactor system for conversion of coal-biomass feedstocks to gasoline- and diesel-range hydrocarbon liquids using the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process chemistry using a syngas slip-stream from the pilot-scale gasifier at the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) with a novel Chevron FT catalyst.


Project Details