[Gasification] Range Fuels Closing Plant

doug.williams Doug.Williams at orcon.net.nz
Sat Jan 29 19:10:34 CST 2011

Hi Tom and Brian,

> On Jan 29, 2011, at 11:56 AM, Thomas Reed wrote:
>> Was my firm belief until two years ago.  Now many people are making both FT diesel and methanol from 50% N2 producer gas.  I believe the excess N2 buffers the reaction and protects the catalyst.

The issue of using producer gas as a feed stock for the FT process, was proven here in New Zealand, by the Department of Industrial and Scientific Research, back in the late 70's by Dr Jim Cousins, when they found using pure oxygen economic suicide to make syngas. I recorded this project on the Fluidyne Archives back about 2003 www.fluidynenz.250x.com  when this Forum interest of that time, turned to the FT process.

>From Brian: 

> Well, we're counting on that being a true statement. Don't suppose you know some process details... Nature of the catalyst? Temp and pressure of the reactants in the cat bed?
> -brian

The basic design and temperature profiles are shown on the original DSIRO photos, but my understanding from that time, was that it produced petroleum wax, and that was then refined into the fuel of choice. To finger the problem of using industrial scale producer gas, is that most large systems are not tar free, and if you need to compress the gas, technical challenges come thick and fast. Nitrogen may very well offer some protection to Tom's unspecified catalyst, but hydrocarbons (tar) have been said to poison the catalysts of some processes. The DSIRO system was not prone to poisoning if I remember correctly, and is possibly easier to duplicate, than trying to purchase small amounts of a commercial catalyst.

Others on this Forum did set out to make DIY FT systems after I posted the DSIRO project, so maybe they can be persuaded to recall their experiences. Or you could refer back to the Archives around 2003 of this Forum, and read the discussions.

Doug Williams.

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