Title: Analysis of Natural Gas-to-Liquid Transportation Fuels via Fischer-Tropsch
Publication Number: NETL/DOE-2013/1597
Publication Date: 09/2013
Publication Type: Report/Publication
Contact: Erik Shuster
Program/Technology: Climate Change
Author: Jesse Goellner (Booz Allen Hamilton) Erik Shuster (NETL)
Synopsis: This study models a GTL system that nominally produces 50,000 bbl/day of fuels fungible in the refined product infrastructure without further refining steps. Specifically, the system produces 15,460 bbl/day of finished motor gasoline and 34,543 bbl/day of low-density diesel fuel. The study provides an updated evaluation of cost, technical, and environmental performance. With an estimated total as-spent capital cost of 4.3 billion dollars (3.7 – 5.6 billion dollars) or $86,188 ($73,260 - $112,045) per bbl of daily production of Fischer-Tropsch liquids, such a facility would be commercially viable should the market conditions (liquid fuel and natural gas prices) remain as favorable or better throughout the life of the project than during the middle of May 2013. The life cycle GHG emissions for GTL diesel and gasoline when based on current practices in the natural gas industry are 90.6 g CO2e/MJ and 89.4 g CO2e/MJ, respectively. If the natural gas extraction and processing sector complies with NSPS, the upstream GHG emissions from natural gas are reduced by 23 percent. The key challenges of GTL are the risk associated with varying gas and product prices, the lack of sustained effort in its development, and its high capital costs. A robust research and development program, besides driving capital cost reductions, can serve the role of sustaining the deep knowledge base in GTL.
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