In late 2011, the company will start operation of a GTL demonstration plant at a Petrobras facility in Fortaleza, Brazil, that will incorporate microchannel FT and steam reforming reactor and catalysts technologies. The unit, which will run at least six months, will demonstrate the fully integrated GTL process and support initial commercial installations. Velocys already is participating in funded engineering studies for these first plants.
In addition, the company is grooming biomass-to-liquids (BTL) technology. Earlier this year it successfully operated a 1-bbl/d BTL demonstration and pilot plant at a gasification facility [of SGC Energia] in Güssing, Austria.
"At Güssing we demonstrated a skid mounted FT reactor with SGC Energia. We had approximately 2,000 hours onstream using a live feed. It went very well, exceeding our expectations. In that time over 2.8 tons of FT product was produced. We have just sold them two full-scale reactors for use in a subsequent field demonstration," explains Jarosch.
Similar microchannel reactor technology now is set to be deployed in a 50-bbl/d BTL plant planned for Brazil in 2012.
Dow Chemical, Midland, Mich., has introduced Consista C601 polypropylene catalyst, which it calls the first sixth-generation Ziegler Natta catalyst. Using the non-phthalate-based catalyst system reportedly requires no capital expenditures or upgrades to existing facilities. It produces high-performance resins that are lighter, cleaner and clearer, says the company.
Meanwhile, Evonik Industries, Essen, Germany, is expanding its capacity for biodiesel catalysts via a new 60,000-mt/y alcoholates plant in Puerto General San Martin, Argentina. The plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2012.
Axens, Rueil-Malmaison, France, and Gentas, part of the Shoaibi Group, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, have signed a letter of intent to build a world-scale hydroprocessing catalyst production plant in Saudi Arabia. The catalysts will be used in the production of clean fuels.
Finally, Materia, Pasadena, Calif., has announced plans to open a catalyst manufacturing and R&D facility in Singapore. The production unit is expected to reach initial 10-mt/yr capacity by the end of 2012.
Seán Ottewell is Chemical Processing's Editor at Large. You can e-mail him at email@example.com.