Lim, J.-P., Steele, D., del Rio Diaz-Jara, D., Eckstrom, D. J., Wilson, R. B., Niksa, S., & Malhotra, R. (2013). A zero CO2-emitting process for transportation fuels from coal and natural gas resources. [10.7569/JSEE.2013.629529]. Journal of Sustainable Energy Engineering, 1, 202-219. doi: 10.7569/jsee.2013.629529
Simultaneous steam reforming of natural gas and conversion of coal to syngas was achieved in a gas-blown, electrically heated, entrained-flow gasifier. Conversions > 95% for both coal and natural gas were achieved at temperatures above 1450°C with a product molar ratio of H 2:CO equal to 2. Fully validated kinetic models were used to extrapolate these results to commercially relevant gasifier conditions, and an Aspen Plus process model was developed for producing diesel fuel from the syngas via methanol. If CO 2-free electricity is used to drive gasification, producing hydrocarbon fuels entails no CO 2 emission or consumption of water. Process economics analysis predicts diesel fuel can be produced for $2.81/gallon with electricity at $100/MWh. The capital cost for a plant producing 100,000 barrels/day of diesel fuel is estimated at $3.18 billion or $31,800/daily barrel of capacity, less than half of the estimated $70,000/daily barrel for a coal-to-liquids plant based on Fisher-Tropsch synthesis.