Synthesis gas production for GTL applications: Thermodynamic equilibrium approach and potential for carbon formation in a catalytic partial oxidation pre-reformer

Jorge A. Velasco, Luis Lopez, Saul Cabrera, Magali Boutonnet, Sven Järås

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present work is focused on synthesis gas production for Gas to Liquids (GTL) applications. A thermodynamic equilibrium approach has been chosen in order to address the methane reforming processes in presence of steam and oxygen (i.e. autothermal reforming "ATR" and catalytic partial oxidation "CPO"). The effect of operational variables on the performance of the reforming units has been analyzed at conditions typical for GTL processes. Also, the performance of a synthesis gas generation unit (SGU) comprising a CPO pre-reformer followed by an ATR reactor has been investigated. The potential for carbon formation in the CPO pre-reformer has been evaluated by applying the "equilibrated gas principle". Our results show that synthesis gas production can be strongly influenced by changes in operating variables such as the steam-to-carbon (S/C) and the oxygen-to-carbon (O2/C) ratios, recycled gas (tail gas) compositions, and operating pressures and temperatures; however, effective operation of the SGU (CPO+ATR) requires an correct combination of these variables in order to accomplish the synthesis gas requirements of the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Likewise, it is shown that the risk of carbon formation in the CPO reactor can be reduced or even eliminated by a proper manipulation and combination of such variables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-183
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering
Volume20
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the financial support provided by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) . Cristhian Fernandez, Instituto del Gas Natural, UMSA, La Paz, is gratefully acknowledged for fruitful discussions.

Keywords

  • Catalytic partial oxidation
  • Equilibrated gas principle
  • GTL applications
  • Synthesis gas production
  • Thermodynamic equilibrium

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