Gas-to-Liquids: The Future of Fuel Technology or a Mere Pipe Dream
Room: South Lobby
Raj Shah - Koehler Instrument Company, Inc.
- Anson Law - Koehler Instrument Company, INC
The process of gas-to-liquids, GTL, converts natural gases into useful hydrocarbon liquids such as diesel and gasoline through catalysis. GTL process is accomplished by first converting natural gas to synthetic gas through partial oxidation, CH4+½O2→CO+2H2, and then to liquid hydrocarbons using a catalyst. At first glance, this process is more environmentally friendly and produces superior quality products compared to using crude oil. However, the uncertainty of large-scale production and investment risks due to high estimated capital costs leaves GTL in doubt. In this paper, we will study the pros and cons of the fuel produced by the GTL process compared to using crude oil with regards to their quality, environmental benefits, and viability/profitability. Looking at both sides of the coin, we will discuss in detail whether GTL is a reliable, profitable, and pragmatic method to supply world’s energy needs.