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Gas to liquids: A technology for natural gas industrialization in Bolivia
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Chemical Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3793-1197
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Chemical Technology. UMSA Universidad Mayor de San Andres, Bolivia.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8488-4429
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Chemical Technology.
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2010 (English)In: Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, ISSN 1875-5100, E-ISSN 2212-3865, Vol. 2, no 5, 222-228 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) technology converts natural gas, through Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, into liquid and ultra-clean hydrocarbons such as light oils, kerosene, naphtha, diesel, and wax. Bolivia has natural gas reserves that reach 48.7 trillion cubic feet and produces nearly 40.0 million cubic meters per day, from which, around 88% are exported to Brazil and Argentina. In spite of these considerable amounts of natural gas reserves and production, the country experiences a shortage of diesel which cannot be solved using conventional refining processes due the light nature of its crude oil. Thus, the GTL process seems to be a promising solution for Bolivia's diesel problems, at the same time that its natural gas reserves could be monetized. Although GTL can be considered as a well proven and developed technology, there are several aspects along the main processing steps (synthesis gas generation, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, and product upgrading) to be considered at the time of implementing a GTL plant. The aim of this paper is to give an overall view of some relevant issues related to Gas-to-Liquids technology as an option for natural gas industrialization in Bolivia, and also to provide a landscape of Bolivian natural gas industry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 2, no 5, 222-228 p.
Keyword [en]
Bolivian natural gas, Gas-to-Liquids (GTL), Synthesis Gas, Fischer-Tropsch, Hydrocracking
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-138474DOI: 10.1016/j.jngse.2010.10.001ISI: 000208679200003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-78049504771OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-138474DiVA: diva2:685628
Note

QC 20140109

Available from: 2014-01-09 Created: 2013-12-19 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Catalytic partial oxidation of methane over nickel and ruthenium based catalysts for GTL applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Catalytic partial oxidation of methane over nickel and ruthenium based catalysts for GTL applications
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Gas to Liquids (GTL) process is an important alternative for monetizing natural gas through the production of long-chain liquid hydrocarbons, e.g. diesel fuel. The GTL process involves three main steps: synthesis gas production to obtain H2 and CO, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis to obtain a synthetic crude oil, and upgrading/refining to obtain final products. Since the synthesis gas production is the most expensive step, there is great interest in optimizing and exploring new routes for syngas production.

This thesis focuses on the conversion of methane, the main component of natural gas, into synthesis gas by catalytic partial oxidation (CPO). Several aspects of the CPO reaction in the context of the GTL technology are discussed. The work contributes to an increased knowledge concerning utilizing a CPO reactor as pre-reformer in the synthesis gas production process as well as the influence of catalyst properties and composition on the catalytic behavior when using nickel and ruthenium-based catalysts in the CPO reaction.

The thesis is a summary of five publications. The first two publications (Papers I and II) review the current status of both the GTL technology and the catalytic partial oxidation of methane. Paper III analyzes a process configuration comprising of a CPO pre-reformer followed by an autothermal reforming (ATR) reactor using a thermodynamic equilibrium approach. It was found that a proper manipulation of the process conditions is needed to obtain a suitable synthesis gas for GTL applications simultaneously of minimizing the risk of carbon formation in the CPO reactor; the operation of the CPO reactor demanded low O2/CH4 and H2O/CH4 feed molar ratios. Accordingly, in paper IV, the partial oxidation of methane at low O2/CH4 and H2O/CH4 ratios is investigated over nickel and ruthenium catalysts supported on MgO/MgAl2O4 and compared with a commercial nickel-based catalyst. The extent or impact of the combustion and reforming reactions along the catalytic bed are substantially influenced by catalyst properties and composition. Deactivation by carbon formation is also discussed; ruthenium-containing catalysts might positively overcome carbon formation. To gain greater insight concerning the influence of the catalyst composition and properties on carbon formation, a set of nickel and bimetallic nickel-ruthenium catalysts, supported on α-Al2O3, γ-Al2O3 and MgO/MgAl2O4, is tested in the CH4 decomposition reaction in Paper V. For these catalysts, the resistance towards carbon formation is mainly correlated with the nickel particle size. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. xi, 83 p.
Series
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2015:63
Keyword
Catalytic partial oxidation, carbon formation, GTL, nickel, ruthenium, synthesis gas, thermodynamic equilibrium.
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Research subject
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-176424 (URN)978-91-7595-753-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-11-27, K1, Teknikringen 56, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20151105

Available from: 2015-11-04 Created: 2015-11-03 Last updated: 2015-11-04Bibliographically approved
2. Catalytic conversion of syngas to ethanol and higher alcohols over Rh and Cu based catalysts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Catalytic conversion of syngas to ethanol and higher alcohols over Rh and Cu based catalysts
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thermochemical process converts almost any kind of biomass to a desired final product, i.e. gaseous or liquid transportation fuels and chemicals. The transportation fuels obtained in this way are renewable biofuels, which are alternatives to fossil fuels. During the last few years, thermochemical plants for the production of bioethanol have been launched and another is under construction. A total of about 290 million liters of ethanol are expected to be processed per year, mostly using municipal solid waste. Considerable efforts have been made in order to find a more selective catalyst for the conversion of biomass-derived syngas to ethanol.

The thesis is the summary of five publications. The first two publications (Papers I and II) review the state of the art of ethanol and higher alcohols production from biomass, as well as the current status of synthetic fuels production by other processes such as the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Paper III analyses the catalytic performance of a mesoporous Rh/MCM-41 (MCM-41 is a hexagonal mesoporous silica) in the synthesis of ethanol which is compared to a typical Rh/SiO2 catalyst. Exhaustive catalytic testing including the addition of water vapor and modifying the hydrogen partial pressure in the syngas feed-stream which, in addition to the catalyst characterization (XRD, BET, XPS, chemisorption, TEM and TPR) before and after the catalytic testing, have allowed concluding that some water vapor can be concentrated in the pores of the Rh/MCM-41 catalyst. The concentration of water-vapor promotes the occurrence of the water gas shift reaction, which in turn induces some secondary reactions that change the product distribution, as compared to results obtained from the typical Rh/SiO2 catalyst. These results have been verified in a wide range of syngas conversion levels (1-68 %) and for different catalyst activation procedures (catalyst reduction at 200 °C, 500 °C and no-reduction) as shown in Paper IV. Finally, similar insights about the use of mesoporous catalyst have been found over a Cu/MCM-41 catalyst, shown in Paper V. Also in Paper V, the effect of metal promoters (Fe and K) has been studied; a noticeable increase of ethanol reaction rate was found over Cu-Fe-K/MCM-41 catalyst as compared to Cu/MCM-41. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. 98 p.
Series
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2017:2
Keyword
thermochemical process, ethanol, higher alcohols, mesoporous catalysts, rhodium, copper, metal promoters
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Research subject
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-196808 (URN)978-91-7729-206-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-01-27, Q2, Osquldas väg 10, Våning 2, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Note

QC 20161125

Available from: 2016-11-25 Created: 2016-11-22 Last updated: 2017-02-03Bibliographically approved

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