Fischer Tropsch Synthesis Process Intensification for Scalable Liquid Fuel Production using Microfibrous Entrapped Catalysts

H. Yang, P.S. Dimick, B.J. Tatarchuk
IntraMicron Inc., US

Keywords: Fischer Tropsch synthesis, microfibrous entrapped catalysts, scalable liquid fuel production, heat transfer,

Summary:

Microfibrous Entrapped Catalysts (MFECs) enable Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis (FTS) process intensification for scalable liquid fuel production by simultaneously enhancing heat and mass transport (and in turn volumetric reactivity and selectivity) in robust, fixed-bed reactors with tubes up to 16-fold larger in cross sectional area than traditional fixed-bed FTS reactors. The ability to use large-diameter reactor tubes results in reduced reactor construction complexity and cost. Furthermore, using MFECs enhances catalyst utilization, improves activity maintenance, increases per-pass selectivity, increases robustness to process upsets, and facilitates process controls. The performance benefits provided by MFEC technology dramatically improve FTS process economics (at least 15%), particularly at small scales, 50 – 500 bbl/day. MFECs alone have an ROI of greater than 500% with a payback time of < 1 year. IntraMicron’s MFEC technology solves the thermal management issues associated with fixed-bed FTS reactors by providing a demonstrated 10- to 50-fold improvement in effective radial conductivity through the bed and a 3- to 10-fold improvement in the catalyst/inside-reactor-wall interfacial heat transfer coefficient. MFECs are produced by robust, high-speed wetlay processes that efficiently scale to any required production level, and any premanufactured catalyst can be entrapped within MFM without altering its chemical structure.