Technical Press Release
Wednesday 10th November 2010
FT microchannel reactor named as Innovative Product of the Year
A Fischer-Tropsch (FT) microchannel reactor combined with a new highly active FT catalyst optimised for use in it was named as the Innovative Product of the Year at the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) awards for Innovation and Excellence 2010 ceremony, held in Manchester on 4 November 2010. The award recognises products developed by process industries that demonstrate innovation as well as a technical, commercial, safety and/or environmental benefits.
The FT microchannel reactor and catalyst combination enables the economical and efficient small scale distributed production of synthetic fuels from a wide range of sources. It can operate economically when producing just 500 barrels per day of oil equivalent (boe) from a wide variety of carbon-containing wastes while achieving productivities that are orders of magnitude greater than for conventional FT reactors. Fuels produced include liquid biofuels from a variety of waste sources such as agricultural and municipal waste via the biomass to liquids (BTL) process, and synthetic fuels from associated and stranded gas produced via the gas to liquids (GTL) process.
An FT microchannel reactor BTL demonstration plant, which is jointly operated by the Oxford Catalysts Group and the Portuguese incorporated holding company SGC Energia (SGCE), is currently operating at the biomass gasification facility in Güssing, Austria. Other microchannel technology applications being developed and demonstrated by the Oxford Catalysts Group include small scale onshore and offshore GTL and the intensification of steam methane reforming.
David Brown, CEO of the Institution of Chemical Engineers said:
“The IChemE Awards are globally recognised and attract entries from all over the world. Winning an award really does demonstrate work of the highest standard and there are plenty of winners from previous years that have used their success at the IChemE Awards as a springboard to greater things.”
Andrew Holwell, Group Marketing Manager at Oxford Catalysts says:
“The FT microchannel reactor and catalyst combination makes it possible to convert a wide variety of carbon-containing wastes into clean synthetic fuels, while achieving productivities far beyond those possible for conventional FT reactors. The award also endorses the wider environmental and sustainability potential of microchannel process technology, which can change the way fuels and chemicals are made. We are delighted to receive this prestigious honour and recognition from our industry peers.”
For further information or to obtain pictures, please contact:
|Andrew Holwell, Group Marketing Manager, Oxford Catalysts Group||
+44 1235 841 700 email@example.com
|Nina Morgan, science writer for the Oxford Catalysts Group||+44 1608 676 530 firstname.lastname@example.org|
FT microchannel reactors
Microchannel reactors are designed for economical production on a small scale. FT microchannel reactors are compact and have channels with diameters in the millimetre range. Conventional reactors are many times larger and have channel diameters in the centimetre range. Because the smaller diameter channels in microchannel reactors dissipate heat more quickly than those in conventional reactors, more active catalysts are used to boost the conversion rates to an economic level.
When used with a new FT catalyst developed by Oxford Catalysts, the Velocys microchannel FT reactor exhibits conversion efficiencies in the range of 70% per pass. The high productivity of the microchannel FT reactor is able to make the distributed production of fuels economic when processing as little as 5 million cubic feet of natural gas or 500 tonnes of waste per day to produce around 500 barrels/day (bbls/day). In contrast, conventional FT plants typically exhibit conversion efficiencies in the range of 50% or less per pass. They are designed to work at minimum capacities of 5,000 bbls/day, and function well and economically only at capacities of 30,000 bbls/day or higher.
The FT microchannel reactors developed by the Oxford Catalysts Group are designed for the small scale distributed production of biofuels via the biomass to liquids (BTL) process, and the small scale production of liquid fuels from associated gas via the gas to liquids (GTL) process. A microchannel reactor to intensify steam methane reforming (SMR), the first step in the GTL process, has also been developed.
Recent honours for the Oxford Catalysts Group technology
Over the past year Oxford Catalysts Group technology has been recognised in a number of awards, including the 2009 Energy Institute Awards (November 2009); a place on the Clean and Cool Trade Mission to Silicon Valley, California (February 2010); an award for Excellence in the Field of Environmental Technology Commercialisation at Clean Equity Monaco 2010 (March 2010); the CWC World XTL Award 2010 (May 2010); the 2010 Chemical Industries Association Innovation Award (June 2010); and a ChemInnovations award at the ChemInnovations Conference and Expo in Houston, Texas (October 2010). It was also shortlisted in the Renewables Energy category of the 2010 Edie (Environmental Data Interactive Exchange) Awards for Environmental Excellence.
The Oxford Catalysts Group
Oxford Catalysts Group PLC is a listed public company (LSE: OCG) comprised of two operating subsidiaries – Oxford Catalysts Ltd and Velocys, Inc. The Group has over 90 employees and operates from facilities near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK and Columbus, Ohio, US. The company was founded in October 2004 and was admitted to trading on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange on 26th April 2006, having raised £15m before expenses from a solid base of institutional investors.
The Oxford Catalysts Group has a portfolio of clean technologies for fuel and chemical manufacturing. It designs and develops technology for the production of clean synthetic fuels from both conventional fossil fuels and renewable sources such as biowaste. The Group is primarily focused on the emerging market for distributed smaller scale production of synthetic fuels via Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis − a market that has the potential of producing as much as 25 million barrels of fuel a day
Velocys, Inc. is based in Columbus, Ohio, US and specialises in the design and development of microchannel process technology for the production of synthetic fuels. The company was spun out of Battelle Memorial Institute, Inc., a major not-for-profit science and technology organisation, in 2001. It owns, or has licenses to, the largest microchannel patent portfolio in the world, with over 550 patent filings, and supports a large microchannel development team. Velocys, Inc. was acquired by Oxford Catalysts in 2008.
Oxford Catalysts Ltd
Oxford Catalysts Ltd designs, develops and licences speciality catalysts for the generation of clean fuels from both conventional fossil fuels and certain renewable sources such as biomass. The company focuses on two key platform technologies.
The first is based on a novel class of catalysts made from metal carbides. Aside from their lower cost, these catalysts offer a number of advantages. For example, in some reactions metal loadings can be reduced. In others, the need for precious metal promoters can be eliminated, while still retaining or even exceeding the benefits of traditional catalysts. Applications of these metal-carbide catalysts include hydro-processing and the conversion of natural gas, biogas or coal into sulphur-free diesel.
The second platform is based on a novel a catalyst and fuel combination that produces instant chemical steam at temperatures between 100ºC and 800ºC+ starting from room temperature. Such Instant Steam could have important applications in a broad range of markets, from cleaning and disinfecting, to green energy in the form of motive power or electricity.
The IChemE Awards
The IChemE Awards, organised in association with tce magazine, recognise and reward chemical engineering innovation and excellence. Now in their 17th year, the awards celebrate both individual and team achievement. They are recognised and highly regarded throughout the international chemical, process and biochemical engineering community.