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Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 02 Jul 2015, 06:37:33

sparky - Exactly. Over 40 years ago Mobil Oil used zeolite catalysts to convert NG to motor fuel in New Zealand. In NZ because they got the NG for next to nothing since there was little market for it. And even then the process wasn't economical. If these folks have greatly improved the economics (which will always hang of the price of NG) that's wonderful: now build a plant and start generating profits. Until then there really isn't much t talk about with regards to their "new" technology.
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby StarvingLion » Thu 02 Jul 2015, 14:39:41

What do you expect? We have had 40 years of university nano-bullshit and theoretical gibberish...plus lamebrain speculative pilot plants by industry. There never was a serious test facility to run catalysis experiments at scale because ,guess what, the "capitalists" told us it was too expensive and that their social darwinism approach to science was surely the way.

All this bio-inspired bullshit is laughable. Pinko stuff.
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby sparky » Fri 03 Jul 2015, 08:06:17

.
the hardest arsed capitalist vampire will listen carefully to a raving pinko if there is some serious bucks to be made
that the story ,..... talk politics , I'll talk profits.
the problem is that out of one hundred pinko proposals , there is only a couple worth throwing some millions at !

everybody seem to think the inventors are the heroes ..... not so ! they just got some notion
the heroes are those who put some millions on the table and are ready to loose everything on it
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby Carnot » Wed 08 Jul 2015, 02:15:27

This approach to produce catalysts is novel but I doubt if it will ever be viable. A colleague of mine went and visited a company spouting the benefits of producing catalysts in this way. He was not very convinced and I was even less convinced. It seemed like a lot of hard work for very little, if any, improvement. To me, being cynical and too long in this business, it was just another idea that someone promoting in order to receive research dollars i.e. stay employed. I have some sympathy with some of these guys but most of their ideas are doomed from the outset. Fanciful at best.

What we have to accept is that all the easy progress has been done. Now we are in an era of diminishing returns. I do not see any breakthrough technologies emerging in either refining or petrochemicals. There will be improvements but not orders of magnitude improvements. Same applies to biofuels, except the improvements are likely to be minimal at best. You cannot beat the laws of thermodynamics.
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby StarvingLion » Thu 09 Jul 2015, 02:21:44

Oh get real, Carnot. You playing the role of the lazy evaluator is not helping. Just say you don't have a clue about catalysis like all the rest of the stone age chemical engineers who were engineers for about 20 minutes before moving into finance.

The lazy ass recruiters need to get the boot for a change. Those clowns don't even consider people with interdisciplinary skills.
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby Carnot » Thu 09 Jul 2015, 04:07:57

Get real eh? Might be a good idea if you knew what you were talking about. There are extensive facililies around the world that test and evaluate catalysts. Refineries happen to be the biggest user of catalysts by far with many of the refining processes employing one of more catalytic steps. The petrochemical industry is the second biggest used of catalysts.

The usual development process is from lab to pilot plant and then to full size evaluation. That is how we do it in our own company.To imply that we do not know what we are talking about and that we are lazy ass engineers from the stone age is neither warranted or justified. It merely demonstrates you lack of knowledge on the subject and your inability to argue you case in a meaningful and coherent way.

The fact is that when you develop a process or a new catalyst for a process it has to be competitive with existing processes and hopefully show some benefit. Over time the best process will nearly always win out. A good example is the way olefines are produced, especially ethylene. The first steam cracker for ethylene production was built in 1951, based on thermal pyrolysis. That process remains the primary root to ethylene to this day. No better process has been developed that can beat the cost cost competitive position of thermal pyrolysis for ethylene production. There have been numerous processes developed but all have been unable to better the old technology. The old technology has been developed over years which have improved yields and reduced energy consumption. Catalytic routes have not proven to be viable against thermal pyrolysis.

Producing catalysts on biological substrates might seem novel but will it be any better than existing. Maybe , maybe not; but on the evidence that I saw it seemed fanciful at best. A lot of hard work and little tangible evidence that it was better than existing catalysts. It would most definitely have been more expensive to produce, so where is the benefit.

Now, you seem to think that FT merely requires a better catalyst and a large plant to demonstrate that it works. Not true. Firstly the FT process is essentially governed by the laws of thermodynamics and the catalyst technology can undoubtedly be improved but not to such and extent that it will make a step change in yields.

The main issue with FT is the plant cost. They are eye watering expensive. Look at the cost of the Shell Pearl Project and you will see what I mean. Why did Shell cancel their GTL project in the US? How many GTL projects exist around the world (<10).

FT is and will remain a niche process which will produce some exceptional parafinnic products but with a limited market where the true value of these products can be realised. FT jet kero is exceptional but do airlines want to pay the premium that it would cost and when it comes to CO2 emissions on a life cycle basis FT jet kero is worse than conventional jet kero.

You may not agree with my views, that is your prerogative, but economics come into play each and every time. We have to make an adequate return on our investments or we will not be in business, and like it or not we have to satisfy our investors.
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 09 Jul 2015, 08:17:05

Well put carnot. And speaking of plant costs: note that Sasol (who many feel is he leading company in this field) was willing to be paid to help bring the plant on but doesn't actually own any of it:

"South African petrochemicals group Sasol expects full production at a gas-to-liquids plant in Nigeria it is developing with Chevron by mid-2015, a senior official said on Thursday. The Escravos GTL plant in the Niger Delta has suffered multiple delays and its development cost has soared from an initial $2.5 billion to around $10 billion, industry experts say. It is expected to produce 33,200 barrels per day of fuel.The plant is jointly owned by the Nigerian state energy company NNPC and Chevron, which uses Sasol's GTL technology."

And the Sasol plan to build the first GTL plant in the US as of last January:

"Low oil prices have prompted Sasol to delay its high-dollar, gas-to-liquids facility in Calcasieu Parish. Sasol in a prepared statement issued Wednesday said it would shelve the proposed $11 billion to $14 billion project as it tries to conserve cash over the next 30 months. Plans were approved last fall. “As a result of the ongoing capital investment reprioritization exercise, Sasol has decided to delay the final investment decision on its large-scale, gas-to-liquids plant in Louisiana,” the South African-based company said. “The timing of the decision will take into consideration progress made with the execution of the company’s world-scale ethane cracker and derivatives complex, prevailing market conditions and other strategic investment opportunities.”

So even with access to a huge supply of rather cheap NG the economics fail with the lower oil prices. of course oil prices could increase eventually. OTOH so could NG prices.
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby Carnot » Thu 09 Jul 2015, 08:49:17

Rockman,

Spot on. With $10 billion invest just what will be the cost on 32 kbd capacity. Pearl cost $20+ billion for 154 kbd. and they get the gas for free for 10 years to pay off the cost.
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 14 Jul 2015, 18:57:20

Argonne, Ford and FCA partnering to study natural gas and gasoline blending for 50% cut in gasoline, 10% boost in efficiency and power density

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory are partnering with Ford Motor Company and FCA US LLC in pre-competitive research to study blending natural gas and gasoline using natural gas direct injection to enable more efficient engines. The project is a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) resulting from the 2014 DOE Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).

The project’s objective is to understand potential benefits and demonstrate targeted blending of gasoline and natural gas in an engine that uses half as much gasoline and shows a 10% increase in overall efficiency and a 10% improvement in power density.

The pre-competitive research is focused on exploring technical concepts and development of engine technology that simultaneously uses natural gas and traditional gasoline to maximize the best characteristics of both fuels, while reducing oil consumption and making the most of the recent boom in natural gas supplies in the United States.

Natural gas has much higher resistance to knocking, which is caused when the fuel/air mixture in an engine’s cylinder auto-ignites. Mixing natural gas with gasoline would allow the engine to run without fuel enrichment and with optimal spark timing, thereby enabling higher engine efficiency and minimizing conditions that might otherwise cause knocking and potential engine damage.

The team plans to explore technical opportunities to adjust ratios of the two fuels on the fly based on the load of the engine. For example, the engine under heavy load could run more efficiently with more natural gas, whereas under lower load it could use a blend heavier in gasoline. Additional factors that might influence the mixing ratio include the amount of each fuel available on-board as well as the engine’s thermal state.


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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby Carnot » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 12:54:13

Jut wonder what this has to do with GTL. This is natural gas in a spark ignition engine. not exactly something new. Graeme, did you read the text of just cut and paste.
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby pstarr » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 14:17:29

Carnot wrote:Jut wonder what this has to do with GTL. This is natural gas in a spark ignition engine. not exactly something new. Graeme, did you read the text of just cut and paste.

He certainly didn't read the topic title. It says GTL and there is nothing in Graeme's post related to that. Except perhaps the word gas.
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 17:10:26

It is appropriate because we are discussing NG AND gasoline, i.e. a blend. I'm sure you both will applaud when the researchers confirm their objective:

The project’s objective is to understand potential benefits and demonstrate targeted blending of gasoline and natural gas in an engine that uses half as much gasoline and shows a 10% increase in overall efficiency and a 10% improvement in power density.
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby pstarr » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 18:55:49

No we are not. This thread is about Fischer-Tropsch catalysts
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 20:27:52

Actually it more than that but I've started another thread. I was trying trying to minimize new threads.
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby sparky » Sat 18 Jul 2015, 05:17:14

.
I was under the impression this thread was about the conversion of methane to gasoline
it is doable , it has been done ,
some serious engineering work has been done about it and there is solid industrial data on it
it's not done because it doesn't make economic sense
unless one is fighting a world war or one is under united nation embargo , then of course economics are moot
of course one could think the whole tar sands endeavor is exactly that ,
they do use a lot of NG to dilute those embarrassingly long hydrocarbon chains
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby StarvingLion » Sat 18 Jul 2015, 13:31:48

sparky wrote:.
I was under the impression this thread was about the conversion of methane to gasoline
it is doable , it has been done ,
some serious engineering work has been done about it and there is solid industrial data on it
it's not done because it doesn't make economic sense
unless one is fighting a world war or one is under united nation embargo , then of course economics are moot
of course one could think the whole tar sands endeavor is exactly that ,
they do use a lot of NG to dilute those embarrassingly long hydrocarbon chains


No it can't be done because the MBA cretins canned engineers with operational experience a long time ago. Now we have the nanocranks and the "I was an engineer for like 20 minutes before becoming a paper pusher" consultants like Carnot. What do the consultants advise? They advise investing the money into consultants.

Everything is uneconomic because "professional" management and their "investors" have run the basic infrastructure into the ground. Trillions and Trillions and Trillions are needed right now just for roads and whatnot.
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 18 Jul 2015, 14:22:39

Starvinglion have a nice meal, maybe some rancid baboon and chill out. The thread is about gas to liquid technology, dates back to the 1920's. It later became was a stop-gap petroleum replacement for the both the Nazi's in WWII and the apartheid South African government during the embargoes. Those countries had abundant coal they could convert into a liquid-petroleum at great expense.

GTL is too expensive in a world of global trade dependent on free-traded, abundant and inexpensive transport fuels. That is what the discussion is about. Not nanocranks? Oh, and what is your regarding Carnot? I think he is great.
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 18 Jul 2015, 15:08:54

pstarr - There you go again: letting facts overrule emotions/prejudice. Stop it this instance...you're not playing nice with the Lie'on King. LOL.
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Re: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

Unread postby Carnot » Sun 19 Jul 2015, 06:41:54

Starving Lion,

Did you miss breakfast. I do agree with with your dislike of consultants, especially management consultants with MBA's, many of whom I have crossed swords with in my company and left them embarrassed. I am not a consultant and neither am I a professional engineer. I am a petroleum chemist and much of what I do is now engineering based. I also have commercial skill to add to my skill set and whether you like it or not, I am not a paper pusher consultant( I think you mean pen pusher) with 10 minutes experience. I will not bore you with the details but I have been in this business for 37 years and I know BS when I see it, and I see plenty. I started my work life drilling oil wells as a mud logger. I have worked in numerous countries, including shite holes like Saudi Arabia, worked in refineries, worked in petrochemical plants, been involved with sales and marketing and now in project evaluation. My speciality is feedstocks and I have a good knowledge of oil refining and cracking technologies. I frequently have offers of work from companies and consultants. Oh, I also have many offers to speak at industry events, mainly because I talk straight and truthfully.

GTL, either by the FT route or the methanol route has its limitations. It works, there is no doubt about that. It makes good products, that is not in question. But however you cut and dice it, it is not overwhelming better than what we currently have for transport fuels production. The economics are not such that it justifies the investment in what are incredibly complex and expensive plants. These plants do not scale down. There are many discussions of micro FT plants but they have never materialised, and probably never will.

The fact is that turning NG into liquid fuels is not very energy efficient. It is better to burn the gas in a turbine directly or as CNG in a spark ignition engine. Lo and behold that it what is being done.

I do not appreciate your insults and neither am going to lower myself to your level discourse. I think we should agree to disagree.
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Re: Who needs oil if you've got natural gas?

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Tue 24 Nov 2015, 02:04:09

An Army colonel is in trouble for complaining that a $500k gas station cost $43 million to build
Army Col. John Hope blew the whistle on a task force that spent $43 million to build a useless gas station in Afghanistan. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says the useless gas station should have cost about $500,000. As a result of pointing out the doubly wasteful project, Hope has “been singled out for retaliation and retribution” for “speaking truth,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in a letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

The gas station is useless because it supplies natural gas to cars that have been converted to run on natural gas. But there are hardly any cars that run on natural gas in Afghanistan, and the cost to convert a car to run on natural gas is $700. The average annual income in Afghanistan is $690,

Does Afghanistan got natural gas ?
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