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Low-Temperature Chemical Looping Reforming Catalysts for Small-Footprint GTL
Project Number
SC0019929
Last Reviewed Dated
Goal

The goal of this project is to make modular scale reforming for GTL commercially viable using a chemical looping reforming (CLR) redox catalyst for low temperature conversion of natural gas to Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) ready syngas.

Performer(s)

Catalytic and Redox Solutions, LLC, Cary, NC 27519

Collaborators
Susteon Inc., Durham, NC 27713
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695
 

Background

Methane from U.S. shale deposits has significantly increased the usable volume of this domestic energy resource. Meanwhile, recent flaring of natural gas exceeded 6 billion cubic meters (annually) in the United States leading to waste of a valuable energy resource. As such, small-footprint technologies that can effectively convert inexpensive, stranded natural gas into transportation fuels are of great value to US shale-oil producers operating in geographically isolated fields. Unfortunately, the only demonstrated commercial technologies for converting natural gas to liquids (i.e., GTL) are indirect routes utilizing complex, high temperate methane reforming systems that are difficult to economically implement at small scale. This project aims to make modular scale reforming for GTL commercially viable using a chemical looping reforming (CLR) redox catalyst for low temperature conversion of natural gas to Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) ready syngas.

Impact

This novel technology developed by Dr. Fanxing Li at NC State University, and licensed by Catalytic and Redox Solutions LLC, will enable distributed, modular scale GTL systems with significantly smaller footprint, increased efficiency, and reduced cost. Phase I will focus on testing and optimizing the system for high conversion/selectivity of methane to syngas. Fixed-bed experiments using an automated gas-switching and product analysis system will be used to monitor conversion and selectivity of the redox catalysts with focus on maximizing single-pass syngas yield. If successful, this will spur Phase II and follow up activities.

If successful, this project will demonstrate the viability of CLR in a pallet sized system. This will help commercialize a breakthrough technology that can effectively convert rejected C1/C2 to create significant value ($5 billion/year in liquid fuels) and to reduce emissions (compared to flaring).
 

Accomplishments (most recent listed first)
  • Reactor sizing was completed for the testbed reactor.
  • Preliminary design specifications for the testbed reactor were developed and provided to potential vendors.
  • A potential vendor proposal in line with the budget and timeline of the project has been identified. 
  • Additional splitting catalyst were tested.  A cheaper analog was developed and chosen for 250 hr. testing. 
  • A model basis for the evaluation of ideal reactor performance and identification of redox catalyst properties has been developed.
     
Project Start
Project End
DOE Contribution

$1,299,997

Performer Contribution

$0

Contact Information

NETL — Anthony Zammerilli (anthony.zammerilli@netl.doe.gov  or 304-285-4641)
North Carolina State University — Dr. Fanxing Li (fli5@ncsu.edu or 919-515-7328)