Frequently asked questions

This page contains answers to some frequently asked questions about our technology and company.

What is the smallest capacity GTL plant that is economic?

This depends considerably on the plant location and site specifics. The company is currently targeting projects with 15,000 – 150,000 mmbtu (15 – 150 mmscfd) of gas per day (150 – 1,500 million m3 gas per year) producing around 1,500 – 15,000 barrels per day (67,000 – 670,000 tonnes per year) of products. However, smaller ones may be economic in special circumstances.

What is the capital expenditure required for a GTL plant?

Capital expenditure depends on plant capacity, site location, and other factors. As an indication, for a green field US Gulf Coast site the capex could be around $100,000 per barrel per day of installed capacity. This estimate includes syngas generation, clean-up and conditioning, the Fischer-Tropsch process, hydrocracking, air separation unit, utilities and offsites. There is the possibility of reducing capex if the plant is located next to another facility with which it can share infrastructure (e.g. power supply, water treatment, oxygen supply, roads, buildings, etc.).

At what stage is Velocys' technology development compared to competitors?

Most significantly, construction of Velocys’ commercial reference plant is complete, and commissioning is underway.

The state of Velocys' technology readiness and the benefits of the technology are outlined in other pages of this web site. In addition, Velocys has frequently published performance data on its catalyst and microchannel reactor programmes in peer-reviewed scientific papers. As such, claims made regarding the performance of Velocys technology can be substantiated by publicly-available data.

In addition to this large pool of non-confidential material the company continues to actively engage, under confidentiality agreements, with a number of project developers and their independent engineers as part of their due-diligence process. In 2014, one third party engineers' due diligence review concluded: "Based on our review, the Velocys FT technology is a sound technology for the production of raw FT products composed mainly of paraffins with carbon chain lengths of 5 or greater… and does not present a scale-up risk for the [Ashtabula] Project."

Further discussion on this subject can be heard here.

I am a project developer. How can I work with Velocys to develop a commercial scale GTL project?

Velocys is currently developing strategic partnerships with companies with the resources, scale and capabilities to access large, high-value markets and drive growth through the delivery of multiple, repeatable projects. Velocys will continue to license its technology to third party project developers.

Please contact us to start discussions.

How much natural gas is needed to produce a given amount of Fischer-Tropsch products?

The amount of natural gas needed depends on the gas quality and composition and the syngas generation technology chosen, among other considerations. As a first approximation, a GTL plant producing 5,000 barrels per day (220,000 tonnes/year) of products would need a gas feed of around 50 million standard cubic feet of methane a day (500 million m3 gas per year). More details can be given as specific projects are developed.

What is the required specification for the syngas that forms the input to the Velocys Fischer-Tropsch process?

Our Fischer-Tropsch reactors can run on syngas from any source: gas, biomass, waste or coal. The main requirements of the syngas are: a 2:1 ratio of hydrogen to carbon monoxide (H2/CO), no more than 1% water and no more than around 15% inert gases (carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, methane etc.) preferred. The required syngas clean-up process includes the almost complete removal of sulphur (in any form), arsenic, chlorine and mercury (to the parts per billion level), as well as low levels of other contaminants. Full syngas specifications can be discussed for specific projects.

How much syngas is required to produce a given amount of Fischer-Tropsch products?

3 million standard cubic feet of syngas (with 0% inert gases and a H2/CO ratio of 2:1) would make around 100 barrels of product. If the syngas contains XY% inert gases, then the amount of syngas needed to make 100 barrels of product is of the order of 3 / (1 - 0.XY) million standard cubic feet.

I represent an agency. Is Velocys interested in working with my organisation to develop smaller scale GTL in a particular country or region?

Velocys is focusing its resources on developing, with strategic partners, a “one-stop-shop” integrated offer in its target markets. However, the company will continue to license to third parties. Velocys is open to starting discussions with those organisations that have a proven track record and that are in active discussions with a project developer or owner for a specific plant. We generally do not enter into exclusive agency agreements for a specific region. Velocys acts in full compliance with the US FCPA and the UK Bribery Act.

Can I simply purchase a Velocys Fischer-Tropsch reactor or Fischer-Tropsch catalyst?

No. Velocys FT catalyst has been developed specifically for use with the company's FT microchannel reactors. The company does not sell its catalyst for use in third party's laboratory tests or commercial reactors.

We cannot quote for the sale of our FT catalyst and reactors in isolation. The FT reactors are the central part of the FT "island" of a plant, but that "island" also incorporates pumps, compressors, and control and coolant systems etc. all of which have to be designed around the requirements of Velocys' FT technology. As for any engineering project, to establish an estimate of capex a project developer would need to initiate a feasibility study (by engaging with Velocys or an EPC of their choice).

I am looking to develop a demonstration scale project of a few barrels of product a day. Is Velocys interested in collaborating with my company?

Velocys' business development and technical teams are focused on one goal: making smaller scale GTL a commercial reality. Our technology has already been proven at a number of demonstration scale plants. Unless there is a compelling reason to do so the company will not focus its finite resources towards demonstration plants at this time.

My company has a quantity of biomass or waste and I am investigating whether converting that feedstock to liquid fuels is a realistic prospect. How should I proceed?

Project economics, particularly for projects using waste or biomass as feedstock, depend heavily on local conditions, including tax regimes. As a general guideline, we anticipate that waste biomass-to-liquids projects would need to be able to process of the order of 1,000 tonnes of waste per day or more to be commercially attractive.

It should be noted that while Velocys is focused on developing, with partners, a one-stop-shop integrated offer that addresses the renewable fuels market, the company does not currently offer turn-key solutions for plants where a gasification unit is required to generate the required syngas (the mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen that is the input to the Fischer-Tropsch process). Velocys is not a provider of gasification technology. Gasification, together with syngas clean-up, is the main contributor to a biomass-to-liquids project's capital expenditure. Therefore we would strongly recommend third party project developers discuss the project with the supplier of gasification technology of their choice as a first step. Velocys would be happy to engage more fully with project developers once that stage has been completed.


Contact us if you are developing a smaller scale gas-to-liquids or biomass-to-liquids project and have other questions.



Velocys plc trades through its subsidiaries Velocys, Inc., 7950 Corporate Blvd, Plain City, Ohio 43064, USA (Registered in the State of Delaware, USA) and Velocys Technologies Ltd, 115e Olympic Avenue, Milton Park, Abingdon, OX14 4SA, UK (Registered in England No. 5258554). Terms & Conditions. "Velocys" and the Velocys logo are trademarks of Velocys. © 2017 Velocys. All Rights Reserved.