Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) technology converts natural gas, through Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, into liquid and ultra-clean hydrocarbons such as light oils, kerosene, naphtha, diesel, and wax. Bolivia has natural gas reserves that reach 48.7 trillion cubic feet and produces nearly 40.0 million cubic meters per day, from which, around 88% are exported to Brazil and Argentina. In spite of these considerable amounts of natural gas reserves and production, the country experiences a shortage of diesel which cannot be solved using conventional refining processes due the light nature of its crude oil. Thus, the GTL process seems to be a promising solution for Bolivia's diesel problems, at the same time that its natural gas reserves could be monetized. Although GTL can be considered as a well proven and developed technology, there are several aspects along the main processing steps (synthesis gas generation, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, and product upgrading) to be considered at the time of implementing a GTL plant. The aim of this paper is to give an overall view of some relevant issues related to Gas-to-Liquids technology as an option for natural gas industrialization in Bolivia, and also to provide a landscape of Bolivian natural gas industry.
Nota bibliográficaFunding Information:
Financial support by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) is gratefully acknowledged.