Production of Fuel

A Technological World Novelty:
High-Octane Gasoline from Synthesis Gas

The global reserves of crude oil and therefore also those of gasoline are limited. The closer we are approaching the “post-crude-oil era”, the greater the need for alternative production processes will become. And this is precisely where our joint research project "Syngas to Fuel" (in short: STF) comes into play. Together with other research and development partners, the experts of Chemieanlagenbau Chemnitz took on the search for a method for the generation of gasoline from different feed stocks, e.g. natural gas or associated gas from oil production. The process is ready for the market and can usefully be applied where no possibility of processing associated gases is available.

The STF process is a technological novelty and patent-registered under the number DE 10 2009 0460790.4. It is based on a new combination of various process parameters. In addition to using a new especially developed catalyst, it is primarily the design implementation of the heat transfer which makes the process so unique. The STF process is also very promising in economic terms.

The first step is to feed the synthesis gas containing CO and H2 into a methanol synthesis. Here the newly developed isothermal reactor is used. After a separation stage the methanol produced is processed in the gasoline synthesis. In this step the methanol is transformed into high-octane gasoline. Not converted methanol and light hydrocarbons are separated in a downstream separation stage and recycled into the process.

The produced high-octane gasoline complies with the Euro IV standard. In contrast to other technologies, further processing is not required except stabilization of the gasoline fraction in a distillation column. The reaction heat of the exothermal reactions is used in the newly developed reactors to generate steam from bioler feed water, which is then utilized as an energy source for the process. The isothermal reactors as well as the newly developed catalysts ensure the highest level of efficiency and effectiveness. Feedstock of the process is no longer conventional crude oil, but an alternative source of energy, such as crude oil associated gases (so-called flare gases), biomass or even coal, as the case may be. The use of the associated gases prevents their senceless combustion and allows for a sustainablereduction of CO2 emissions. In addition, the treated methanol-containing water can be recycled in the process. Therefore, the new process positively contributes to environmental relief.

In a highly industrialized society based on the usage of sophisticated technologies, the availability of fuels in sufficient quantities and at affordable rates is of the utmost importance. The production of high-octane gasoline from biomass with permanent and almost unlimited availability is a future-proof method, which also impresses with regard to sustainability.

The implemented pilot plant in Freiberg was able to prove that this process represents both a realistic and market-ready alternative for the “post-crude-oil era” and hence an important investment into the future. The environmental benefits of the STF process in particular as well as its high functionality and effectiveness provide for a quick return on investment.

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