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Natural Gas to Liquid (GTL) March 24, 2008

Posted by OldGuy in Alternatives, Fischer-Tropsch.
Tags: , , , ,

According to the ads, creating diesel from natural gas – a process called Gas to Liquid (GTL) – is a clean option for reducing world oil consumption.

So I went to Shell Oil’s website.  All the benefits were stated in terms of comparison to oil-based diesel, and in  creating diversity of options.

GTL Fuel has a large number of benefits for both regulators and fleet operators. It can be used in conventional diesel engines, but provides significantly lower emissions of local pollutants, such as particulates, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, even when compared to so-called ‘sulphur-free’ diesel.

Shell’s approach is to use a proprietary low-temperature Fischer-Tropsch process, called Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis – SMDS,  that uses an improved catalyst to produce its liquid fuels.  They have been operating in Bintulu, Malaysia since 1998, and is capable of producing 14,700 bbl/day.   A new plant is under construction in Qatar that will produce up to 140,000 bbl/day GTL by the end of the decade.

Shell says that creating Fischer-Tropsch from agricultural feedstocks (or even coal) has greater technical challenges than using natural gas.  It says “the low-temperature, cobalt catalyst-based Fischer-Tropsch GTL process, however, produces an extremely clean synthetic fraction of gasoil called GTL Fuel that is virtually free of sulphur and aromatics.”

Shell already sells GTL at retail outlets in Greece, Thailand, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.

Shell has partnered with Audi  to use Shell GTL (R10) fuel – based on Shell V-Power Diesel technology.  In its first competitive race in March 2006, the Audi R10 TDI won a maiden victory at the Sebring 12 hour race in Florida, and won the 24-hour La Mans race in June 2006.

“Not only was it the first diesel car to ever finish the race, but it also completed the most laps (380), 4 laps ahead of its gasoline rival. With the help of Shell V-Power Diesel technology continuously cleaning the fuel injection system, the winning Audi R10 was able to sustain this great performance right through to the end of the race, and was noticeably quieter than the gasoline cars. This remarkable result was due in part to the inclusion of high cetane Shell GTL Fuel in the race formulation, enabling the fuel to burn more cleanly and efficiently than conventional diesel.”

I’m concerned about consumption of Natural Gas for fuel, instead of creating new fuels, but I glad Shell is creating both demand and infrastructure for FT fuels.



1. Natural Gas To Liquid (GTL) | basiliomitchel - April 3, 2008

[…] read more […]

2. PHANG HUEY LIN - March 9, 2009


A lot of research been done on efficiency of enjin by better quality of fuel ( Natural Gas or Diesel ). Better quality of natural gas or diesel basically less pollutant or unwanted particles.

Somehow, the importance of the current world situation is not much depend on few percentage % of improvement on efficiency of enjin. But the crisis is much beyond how many laps our car can run. We need a BIG changes!!!!

Anyway, I like this topic. At least someone has do something to improve on efficiency of enjin with the some income $$$$ . Hahahahaha….. 🙂

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