The science and technology of catalytic conversion of synthesis gas to liquid hydrocarbon and oxygenate fuels has been reviewed. The objective has been to identify exploratory research results and new catalytic concepts whose development could lead to significant improvements in indirect coal liquefaction. From an assessment of present technology, it is concluded that there are three major opportunities to improve syngas conversion processes by means of new and improved catalysts which provide a) higher selectivity to high performance fuels, b) decreased plant investment costs, c) improved thermal efficiency.
During the past decade there has been an intensive world-wide research effort on catalytic reactions of synthesis gas, mixtures of hydrogen and carbon oxides. A vast range of ideas has been tried including the use of zeolites, metal complexes, multifunctional catalyst and, recently, biocatalysis. Moreover, the scientific design of catalysts is being approached with some success. Also, an important route for improved synthesis of liquid fuels is through use of catalysts specially designed to function in systems which improve process engineering.
An evaluation has been made of the results of more than 300 recent research papers in the context of their potential to fulfil needs for improved synthesis gas conversion catalysts. This evaluation has led to a description of opportunities for new research directions in catalysis for indirect coal liquefaction. These can find application in 1) further improvements for catalytic systems under development, 2) innovative catalytic processes, or 3) new scientific catalytic approaches. It is concluded that there are excellent research opportunities for improvements in indirect coal liquefaction for production of both hydrocarbon and oxygenate liquid fuels. It has been estimated that catalysts having improved capabilities for syngas conversion have the potential to improve the economics of synthetic fuels manufacture by 10% to 30%.
Title: Catalysts for fuels from syngas: new directions for research, IEACR/09
Author(s): G Alex Mills
Reference: Ref: IEACR/09
ISBN: ISBN: 92-9029-159-1
Publication Date: 01/10/1988