Two New Modular Systems for GTL (Gas-to-Liquids) by GTI

Authors: 
Marker, T., Gas Technology Institute

GTI is currently working to develop two new processes for the conversion of natural gas to liquids. Both will be done in low cost modular systems so that they are economic at relatively small scale.

The first process is called SoftOx. In this process sour (high H2S content) natural gas is converted to high sulfur liquids and clean gas. The high sulfur liquids will be sent down the pipeline with the crude oil and the clean gas will be burned to generate electricity. This project is at an early stage but has shown very promising results with as much as 18 wt. % sour liquids generated per pass from sour natural gas feeds. The first stage also produces 15% ethylene as well. A unique catalyst was discovered for the process which minimizes coking. Integrated long term testing is need to move forward in this development. The goal of this process is to monetize sour natural gas and prevent sour gas flaring.

The second process is called Cool GTL. Cool GTL can be used to convert high CO2 content natural gas, biogas streams, and gas produced from gas plants to liquids. In Cool GTL we convert high CO2 feeds to synthesis gas at a 2/1 H2/CO ratio using a novel CO2/steam reforming catalyst which has high stability. The 2/1 H2/CO synthesis gas ratio is always achieved, for a variety of levels of feed CO2 content, by adjusting the amount of water added according to the amount of CO2 in the feed. The reformer catalyst has been tested for 500 hours and shows no deactivation. The product from the reformer then goes directly to a low temperature bubbling fluid bed Fischer Tropsch reactor which makes hydrocarbon liquids from the synthesis gas. A unique catalyst formulation enables the fluid bed to make no wax. The fluid bed allows excellent temperature control. Cool GTL is also under development and still requires longer integrated testing.

Both GTL processes will be commercialized using compact, modular, cookie cutter, designs which enable low cost and fast construction.

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