Earlier this year Linc Energy proved it could make synthetic diesel from UCG syngas and even drove across the country on ‘Linc Energy diesel’. The GTL plant at the Chinchilla Demonstration Facility has operated according to expectations and constant process improvements have been made to achieve even better plant performances. Now, over the coming months, a new Fischer-Tropsch (FT) catalyst will be loaded into the reactors.
“This new catalyst has already been tested in the laboratory and shown better activity, conversion and methane selectivity,” said General Manager Clean Energy Bipin Patel.
“As well as producing syncrude, the main goal of the next FT campaign is to demonstrate the performance of the new catalyst, especially with the hydrocarbon selectivity towards increased diesel production.”
Two process improvements are underway at the facility. The first is the installation of a gas separation membrane unit to allow for changes in gas composition to the FT reactor without affecting upstream operation. The unit will enable further research into product yield patterns and optimisation of the FT reactor system generally.
“Membrane technology for gas separation is an established technology supplied by various international companies. Linc Energy will be the first company to apply it on syngas from the UCG process.”
The second improvement is on the wastewater treatment plant, with the objective to maximise the reuse and recycling of water. The current biological treatment process has been successfully operating for over a year, proving that the organic components can effectively be reduced.
“Linc Energy is in the process of installing a reverse osmosis technology to further reduce the inorganic components to meet stringent requirements established by the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) for the reuse and recycling of water. This unit rejects soluble ions such as sodium and chloride to reduce the total dissolved solids content making it suitable for reuse. Treated wastewater will meet stringent specifications set out by DERM and will be reused in the GTL facility to reduce the bore water requirements of the Chinchilla operations,” he said.