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


Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis Rig
Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis Rig
University of Kentucky Research Foundation
Website:  University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER)
Award Number:  FE0010482
Project Duration:  10/01/2012 – 03/31/2018
Total Award Value:  $3,438,259
DOE Share:  $2,730,047
Performer Share:  $708,212
Technology Area:  Coal and Coal Biomass to Liquids
Key Technology:  Advanced Fuels Synthesis
Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

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.

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.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Steven Markovich:
Technology Manager 
K David Lyons:
Principal Investigator 
Rodney Andrews:

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