The best renewable energy and biochemical consulting firms have experts in a wide variety of bioeconomy specialties, including gas to liquids (GTL). (They should also be able to provide clients project expertise and be available as expert witnesses in matters like aquaculture, biochemicals, bio-fertilizers, bio-fibers, biomass-to-sugars, bioplastics, catalysis, cellulose, enzymes, food ingredients, biogas production, and biogas upgrading, industrial chemicals, latex, lubricants, nano carbons, nutraceuticals, organometallics, polymers, renewable chemicals, rubber, and solvents).
Gas to liquids (GTL) refers to a process for the conversion of natural gas or biogas or other methane-rich gas mixtures to synthesis gas (syngas), liquid fuels such as diesel fuel or jet fuel, or chemicals such as waxes or olefins, and can produce byproducts such as naphtha or light hydrocarbons. The process typically encompasses several steps including impurity removal, pre-reforming, water gas shift, methane steam reforming (SMR), autothermal reforming (ATR), gasification, or partial oxidation (POX), syngas purification, followed by Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, methanol synthesis, or higher alcohol synthesis, and possibly hydrocracking. The intermediate, synthesis gas or syngas, is a mixture of hydrogen (H2) and carbon monoxide (CO) that for some purposes contains carbon dioxide (CO2), which composition is tailored to particular conversion processes. An expert in the area of gas to liquids may have experience in homogeneous catalysis or heterogeneous catalysis, reaction engineering, reaction kinetics, reactor modeling, pre-reforming, syngas cleanup, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, methanol synthesis, ammonia synthesis, water gas shift reaction (WGSR), conventional and compact multi-tubular fixed bed reactors, slurry bubble column reactors, microchannel reactors, cobalt, ruthenium, and iron (supported and unsupported) Fischer-Tropsch catalysts, slurry reactor hydrodynamics, trickle bed reactor hydrodynamics, laboratory, pilot and demonstration-scale reactor design and process design, construction, start-up and operations, process scale-up, synthesis gas generation (ATR/SMR/POX), synthesis gas clean-up, small/modular GTL, competitor analysis, industry analyses, new technology tracking and evaluation, process economics, FT product analysis, and FT product upgradings such as hydrocracking or thermal cracking.
A GTL expert is a person who by virtue of his or her knowledge, experience, education, training, and skills has special knowledge of gas to liquids, not known to the general public. Some experts are hired purely as consultants to assist a party or attorney in better understanding the technical or scientific matters at hand. Others are truly hired as “expert witnesses” to both assist a party or attorney in better understanding the matters at hand and to testify in the legal proceeding. Some experts are hired to assist with a determination of exactly what happened and who was at fault. Others are hired to assist with determining the damages that occurred. Many are hired to help support both issues.
While a judge makes the ultimate determination as to whether one qualifies as an expert and can testify as such, the jury is normally free to decide how much weight and credibility to give the expert’s opinion. Thus, it is very important to choose an expert with not only the proper credentials but also one who can effectively translate complex, technical matters into terms that juries can easily understand. At Lee Enterprises Consulting, our experts are the top specialists in their fields. Testifying as an expert is only a small part of our experts’ professional work. We have generalized training for all our experts that we refer to as expert witnesses, making sure they understand their role in a proceeding and can check for conflicts prior to engagement. We stress the importance of Daubert qualification and the relationship they need to have with the hiring attorneys. For a full discussion on expert witnesses and hiring those in the bioeconomy, see our two articles: “The Expert Witness in Biofuels and Biochemicals Litigation” and “Hiring An Expert Witness in The Bioeconomy”. We also have highly qualified experts available to assist you with any bioeconomy-related matter. Feel free to call or email us for more information.