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Making ‘natural’ gas from coal

By Chemical Engineering |

Haldor Topsøe A/S (Lyngby, Denmark; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6892-531) has relaunched a methanation process, called TREMP, which makes synthetic natural gas (SNG) from synthesis gas (syngas) mixtures derived from coal gasification. The process was developed and extensively tested during the 1970s, when energy costs were expected to increase to previously unseen levels. When this did not happen, interest in the process vanished, says Anders Olsen, syngas catalyst and technology manager at Topsøe in Houston. Now, with energy costs soaring, TREMP has been revived; the technology was selected for use in Power Holding’s coal-gasification plant in Jefferson County, Illinois, in a $1-billion project to convert 4 million tons/yr of coal into pipeline-quality natural gas. Topsøe was selected as one of the technology providers, and will deliver its TREMP methanation process and WSA sulfur-conversion technology. The coal-to-gas plant will start up in 2010. The Topsøe high-temperature methanation process (flowsheet) uses coal-derived syngas (H2-to-CO ratio of slightly above 3), which has been passed through a sulfur-tolerant shift and acid-gas removal unit for removing H2S and excess carbon (as CO2). In order…
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