(215f) Greenhouse Gas Footprints of Transportation Fuels Manufactured from Natural Gas Liquids Derived from Shale Gas

Authors: 
Chen, Q., The University of Texas at Austin
Dunn, J. B., Northwestern University
Allen, D., The University of Texas at Austin
Hydrocarbon products derived from horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing of shale formations (shale gas, shale derived natural gas liquids, and shale oil) have greatly expanded US production of these hydrocarbons and have made the US the world’s largest natural gas and petroleum producer. Collectively, these resources have transformed North America’s energy landscape. Less appreciated are the transformations these shale resources are driving in chemical manufacturing. The recent growth in natural gas and natural gas liquids (primarily ethane, propane and butanes) available as feedstocks for the chemical manufacturing industry has spurred a widespread shift, in the United States, from the use of liquid, petroleum derived, hydrocarbon feedstocks in chemical manufacturing to use of natural gas liquid (NGL) feedstocks. An emerging use of NGLs may become the manufacture of transportation fuels via dehydrogenation and oligomerization, however, this use of NGLs may be limited by the environmental footprint of these transportation fuels. Access to some markets for transportation fuels is based on the lifecycle greenhouse gas footprint of the fuel (e.g., California Low Carbon Fuel Standard). This presentation will examine greenhouse gas footprints of transportation fuel production from light alkane dehydrogenation and oligomerization processes using both conventional and emerging processes. Depending on the field producing the NGLs, these footprints can be dominated by upstream greenhouse gas emissions, and so this presentation will also examine the greenhouse gas footprints of fuels manufactured from shale gas from multiple production basins.
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