A current issue related to the production of petroleum from shale formations is the co-production of natural gas. In many cases, this co-produced gas is flared since the infrastructure is not in place to allow transport. The flaring operations produce carbon emissions and make no use of the energy content of the natural gas. The possibility exists to convert this flared natural gas to a valuable product using Fischer Tropsch fuel synthesis technology.
Ceramatec is currently operating a small, ¼ BPD Gas-to-Liquids pre-pilot plant at its Salt Lake City, Utah facility. The existing laboratory system has been run with a variety of catalysts and a variety of conditions. Based on the test results, a modular GTL plant that is road transportable has been designed and fabrication cost estimated on a per barrel-per-day (BPD) of capacity. The paper will describe the test results that have been obtained to date and a series of planned tests in association with a ~2 BPD CTL program that is funded by US Department of Energy. Further, the paper will discuss the cost structure associated with modular GTL plants of various sizes and determining factors for those costs.