Scientists from Battelle Memorial Institute, Ohio, have discovered a new hybrid process which can turn coal into jet fuel.
The new hybrid process utilizes direct coal-to-liquids process for creating jet fuel from biomass-derived coal solvents. Conversion of coal into synthetic crude oil (syncrude) is carried out at relatively low pressures without gaseous hydrogen or a catalyst. This syncrude can subsequently be upgraded to jet fuel and various distillates using standard petroleum upgrading technology.
The process is a result of a two-phase project which focuses on advancing the three steps of hybrid coal/biomass-to-jet fuel process to a technology readiness level of 5 (TRL 5). The production of bio-solvent and coal liquefaction have been successfully scaled up to one ton per day.
Numerous bio-solvents have also been tested along with bituminous coal from West Virginia and Ohio in addition to sub-bituminous coal. The team is also evaluating various catalysts to upgrade the syncrude to jet fuel and diesel.
“The Battelle process offers a significant reduction in capital and operating costs and a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” said Satya Chauhan, the leader of Battelle’s process-development team that also includes other Battelle supporting organizations. “Our objectives are to demonstrate a straightforward path to near-term commercial production of jet fuel from coal using biomass-derived coal solvents.”
All subsystems employ commercially-available equipment in addition to raw materials easily available. Battelle is looking for technology licensees for industry applications in an effort to commercialize the new process.
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