Cost Effective Fischer-Tropsch Technology

Period of Performance: 01/01/2003 - 12/31/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Exelus, Inc.
110 Dorsa Ave
Livingston, NJ 07039
Principal Investigator


72039S03-I Converting natural gas to liquids will enable the economic development of stranded gas reserves, which are estimated at more than 4,000 trillion cubic feet and account for about 80% of all known gas reserves worldwide. The initial gas-to-liquids (GTL) technologies, implemented in the 1980s and early 1990s were not commercially successful ¿ the main reason being that they were far too expensive. This project will develop a practical, step-out Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology, using a multifunctional catalyst, that has the potential to reduce costs of the FT portion of a GTL facility by 35% or more. The cost reduction potential of this approach should provide a very strong springboard for overall GTL economic viability. During Phase I, the multifunctional catalyst and a slurry catalyst will be synthesized and tested in a three-phase reactor for the conversion of syngas to olefins via the Fischer-Tropsch reaction. The superior hydrodynamics of the multifunctional catalyst is expected to increase syngas conversion and enhance the selectivity to C5+ hydrocarbons over a slurry catalyst system. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: The technology has the potential to reduce both fixed and variable costs by allowing simpler reactor designs and reducing raw-material consumption through better product selectivity. It could be applied to a wide variety of multi-phase reactions, such as the cost-effective conversion of stranded natural gas to clean-fuels via the Fischer-Tropsch¿s reaction.