Gas to liquids? Converting methane gas to a liquid fuel makes the material more valuable and convenient for transport and other uses. Massive commercial installations that produce tens of thousands of barrels of liquids per day have been operating in South Africa and Qatar for decades to make diesel and gasoline from natural gas. Upgrading gas to liquids at small scale, however, is only viable for niches where enormous plants are not practical, such as off-shore oil production facilities. Small plants are particularly appropriate for the upgrading of biogas due to the much smaller scale of biogas resources relative to natural gas. Biogas produced either by anaerobic digestion or biomass gasification are suitable for gas-to-liquids conversion.
Gas conversion involves two steps. In the first step, methane is converted to synthesis gas (syngas), a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and some minor components, by either steam reforming or oxidative reforming. The syngas is purified and converted in a second, catalytic step to a mixture of hydrocarbons by the Fischer-Tropsch process, or to methanol if that is the desired product. These processes are very well developed for the monetization of natural gas at a large scale, but to date have not been commercial at small scales where one cannot take advantage of the economies of scale.
Several companies have been very active in the research and development of small gas (biogas) upgrading units over the past two decades. Demonstration plants have been built that produce as many as several hundreds of barrels per day of diesel and gasoline. Yet none of these has resulted in a commercial installation due to the lack of the economies of scale available to the world-scale plants. Now that the products have been qualified for RINS or other environmental credits, small-scale gas-to-liquids have become more competitive. Several companies are building or planning to build facilities in the next few years.
With over 150 experts worldwide, Lee Enterprises Consulting has experts in many specific clean and renewable areas, including anaerobic digestion, fermentation, biomass, conversion technologies for things like tires and railroad ties, organic synthesis, fuel additives, ethanol gas, biodiesel fuel including algae biofuels, solid-state and industrial fermentation, green energy grants, ag-biotech, agricultural waste, alcohol fuels, alternative proteins and animal-free products, sustainable foods, beverage fermentation, biocatalysis, biodiesel conversion, biogas production, biomass power, carbon intensity, co2 utilization, combined heat & power, Fischer-Tropsch technology, food waste, hydrothermal carbonization, industrial enzymes, landfill management, microbial fermentation, organic synthesis, plastic pyrolysis, plastic recycling, plastic waste, pyrolysis oil, reactor design, renewable identification number, the Renewable Fuel Standard (rfs2), solid recovered fuels, torrefaction and torrefied biomass, waste to energy, and waste-to-hydrogen. This is a multidisciplinary group of green energy consultants that is a virtual “one-stop-shop” for any client need and handles projects of all types and sizes.
Look at our experts and the services we provide. Most of our experts are also available to advise and serve as expert witnesses in bioeconomy litigation matters. For the larger projects, we specialize in putting together full-service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact. See a video about LEC here. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.