KIER SponCat Technology for Flexible and Selective Production of High Value-Added Hydrocarbon Products from Syngas

D.H. Chun, G.B. Rhim, J.C. Park, J-S Bae, M.H. Youn, H. Jeong, H-T Lee, J-I Yang, H. Jung
Korea Institute of Energy Research,

Keywords: Fischer-Tropsch, catalysts, linear α-olefins, base oil, jet fuel


FTS (Fischer-Tropsch synthesis) is a catalytic reaction process for production of clean liquid fuels, premium lube base oil, and high value-added chemicals from coal, natural/shale gas, waste wood, and even water and carbon dioxide via syngas (H2 + CO). Conventional FTS processes have used different combinations of catalysts and reactors depending on the desired products. Thus, once the users choose the combination of catalysts and reactors, they cannot change the portfolio of major products. In this study, we report SponCat technology developed by KIER (Korea Institute of Energy Research). KIER SponCat is unique catalyst technology for the use of commercial type slurry bubble column reactors, which generates quick catalyst activation in the FTS condition without requiring an extra catalyst pre-activation treatment. Furthermore, KIER SponCat can flexibly control the hydrocarbon product distribution, e.g. (i) wax selective, (ii) oil selective, and (iii) olefin selective, simply by adjusting the catalyst formulation and reaction condition. This means that the FTS process using KIER SponCat technology can flexibly change the major products depending on the market situation without changing the type of reactors. What is required for the users is just to choose the suitable version of SponCat and adjust the reaction condition accordingly. Therefore, the users of KIER SponCat technology are expected to save a licensing fee and costs for new reactor installation when they want to change or extend the product portfolio.