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The commercial debut for a gas-to-gasoline process

By Gerald Ondrey |

Last month in Ovadan-Depe, Turkmenistan, construction began on a plant that will produce gasoline from natural gas. When the plant starts up approximately four years from now, it will produce 15,500 barrels per day (bbl/d) of synthetic gasoline using the Topsøe Improved Gasoline Synthesis (Tigas) technology of Haldor Topsøe A/S (Lyngby, Denmark; www.topsoe.com). It will be the first large-scale project in the world utilizing the Tigas process. Tigas is a process to make gasoline from synthesis gas (syngas, a mixture of CO and H2) derived from natural gas, shale gas, associated gas, coal, petcoke or biomass, or from methanol or dimethylether (DME). In the Turkmenistan project, syngas will be produced by autothermal reforming of natural gas, and then converted into methanol using Topsøe technology, says Heinrik Udesen, business-development manager. The methanol will then be converted to gasoline via the Tigas process. In Tigas (flowsheet), methanol is fed to parallel adiabatic gasoline reactors, which allow for intermittent catalyst regeneration (de-coking). In these packed-bed reactors, methanol is “polymerized” into hydrocarbons, using Topsøe’s GSK-10 catalyst at a temperature of around…
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