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The CCT pilot plant – approved for commercial development

Pilot Plant Reactor Section - Front Viewre

The above proven process has culminated in the establishment of a pilot plant in China’s north-west coal-mining province of Shaanxi.

After the pilot plant having been successfully operated to demonstrate Coal to Liquid process,

The process technology had been evaluated and approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and also approved by the local provincial government for commercial development.

The approval was based on the recommendations and approval by an international panel of experts in the field of Fischer Tröpsch Synthesis.

These include the experts in reactor design, catalyst development, engineering design and construction. 

At a review meeting to assess the process and the pilot plant operation, the above panel concluded:

“We believe that this technology is innovative and has the potential to out-perform other similar international technologies in terms of emission reduction, economic performance and conversion efficiency. 

“This should provide a basis for a more sustainable and competitive technology. 

We can conclude on the basis of the results and process concepts presented, that this is a world-leading technology that can make a significant contribution.”

What does our technology offer?


The reduced Capex and increased operational efficiencies are achieved by designing an innovative process with higher carbon efficiency, resulting in lower CO2 emissions as well as reduced water consumption per ton of product.

The key novelty of this process lies in the one pass design of the system. The elimination of the recycle improves not only the operability of the process but also does away with the requirement for certain items of equipment that are the key to the operation of a recycle-based system. The removal of these items reduces the operating costs and as a result, has a significant positive impact on the profitability of the process and CO2 footprint.

In particular, the new design also permits possible elimination or reduction of upstream large size air separation for gasification, reformers for the recycle of methane from the tail gas, as well as the eradication of the requirement for complex and expensive gas separation used for the recycling process.

So, let’s get more technical …

The Process

The Natural Gas or Coal is converted to Syngas in a Reformer or Gasifier respectively. 

With this technology, these units can use either air or oxygen, or enriched air as an oxidant source. 

The Syngas is cleaned by means of a demonstrated Chinese-developed fixed bed technology to reduce the total sulphur levels to below 20 ppb and to remove other contaminants that could be damaging to catalysts of Fischer Tröpsch process.

The clean syngas is then introduced to a series of tubular fixed bed, steam-cooled reactors containing the FT catalysts. 

The product stream from the reactor is then cooled and product cuts removed at the appropriate point and conditions.

The specific product cuts can be customized in collaboration with the client’s downstream refinery/product uptake requirements.

The remaining tail gas can be flared or passed to an electricity generation unit. Local CO2 sequestration or use is proposed and will be investigated on a project case-by-case basis. 

Conceptual design capacities and outputs are given in the table below:

Table11 (1)

Fischer Tröpsch Synthesis

The Fischer Tröpsch (FT) Reaction is used to produce syncrude from synthesis gas.

The syngas can be derived from coal, natural gas, or a wide range of other carbon-based feedstocks.

This reaction generally produces straight chain hydrocarbons with a distribution of different chain lengths.
These chain lengths vary from methane (CH4) to long chains (C18+) waxes. For these systems, a parameter ∂ is used to describe the product – a lower ∂ corresponds to a predominantly shorter chain product and vice versa.

Products of Process

The process produces a variety of products including alkanes, alkenes and a small range of oxygenating hydrocarbons. 

The precise combination of these products can be tuned through the selection of the process.


Compared to Crude Oil?

This product is similar to crude oil and a comparison of the products with crude oil can be seen below. 

The diesel component of this spectrum has a higher cetane number and is ideal for motor usage but the gasoline requires upgrading to improve the octane number.


Compared to the Conventional Fischer Tröpsch Synthesis Technology?

Conventional FT technologies make use of a pure oxygen feed with a large process to recycle.

This requires the inclusion of such capital intensive items such as large size cryogenic air separation and reformer units.

This design features not only increase the Capex and operating costs of the process but they also increase the CO2 emissions.

The reduction or elimination of such equipment permits a significant cost saving as well as a reduction in the CO2 emissions by as much as 20%.