(570ap) Simulation of An Advanced Fischer-Tropsch Reactor Technology | AIChE

(570ap) Simulation of An Advanced Fischer-Tropsch Reactor Technology


Elbashir, N. O. - Presenter, Texas A&M at Qatar
Hamad, N. - Presenter, Texas A&M at Qatar
Nicola, S. S. - Presenter, Texas A&M at Qatar
Elmalik, E. E. - Presenter, Texas A&M at Qatar
Mogalicherla, A. K. - Presenter, Texas A&M at Qatar
Eljack, F. - Presenter, Qatar University

This study reports the development of a simulation model for an advanced Fischer Tropsch synthesis (FTS) reactor technology to be operated under near and supercritical phase conditions. The simulated novel reactor configuration is compared to existing commercial FTS reactor technologies, such as the slurry bubble reactor (SBR) of Sasol-Chevron's Orxy Gas-to-Liquid plant in Qatar and the fixed bed reactor (FBR) of Shell's Bintulu plant in Malaysia. The supercritical phase FTS operation (to be referred to as SC-FTS) has been considered to provide certain advantages over the conventional reaction media because of the unique characteristics of the supercritical phase (combines the desirable properties of gas-like diffusion along with liquid-like heat transfer and solubility to overcome many of the aforementioned limitations of the current industrial FTS reactors) [1]. The first phase of our investigation was to synthesize a base-case flowsheet of the SC-FTS that includes the key processing steps and all units needed to support the high pressure process for near critical and supercritical phase FTS. The major focus of this paper is on the second phase of the project whereby a comparison between mass and energy flows, performance criteria, and equipment specification of the novel reactor technology and the commercial technologies were conducted. The reactor simulation process was carried out in ASPEN Plus ® under typical operating conditions of the commercial FTS reactors. This paper will also report preliminary techno-economic evaluation of the novel reactor technology relative to the commercial ones. The additional cost incorporated in the SC-FTS reactor is the compression cost as well as the solvent separation and recycle cost. Similar technique to the one illustrated in a previous publication will be used [2].

References: [1]. Elbashir N. O., Bukur D. B., Durham E., Roberts C. B. (2010) ?Advancement in Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis via Utilization of Supercritical Fluids as Reaction Media? AIChE J; 56 (4) 997-1015. [2]. Bao B., El-Halwagi M. M., Elbashir, N. O. (2010) ?Simulation, Integration, and Economic Analysis of Gas-to-Liquid Processes? Fuel Proc. Techn.; in press.