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A direct coal-liquefaction process goes commercial…

By Edited by Gerald Ondrey |

The world’s first commercial plant to produce liquid fuels by direct coal liquefaction is now being started up in Majata, Inner Mongolia, by Shenhua Group (Beijing). Designed to produce 25,000 bbl/d of syncrude from 4,300 metric tons per day (m.t./d) of coal, the plant was operated for a 300-h trial at the beginning of this year, then was shut down for modifications. If the current startup goes well, the plant will phase into regular commercial production and Shenhua will go ahead with plans to add two more trains, for a total capacity of 75,000 bbl/d. Shenhua licensed the basic process from HTI (now Headwaters Inc., South Jordan, Utah; www.headwaters.com) and has since made modifications, some with the help of various international companies (see CE, August 2002, p. 25, and February 1997, p. 21). Powdered coal is dissolved in recycled process liquid at about 2,500 psig and 800°F, then liquefaction is completed in a second stage at a slightly higher temperature (flowsheet). Hydrogen is added in the first stage and an iron-based catalyst is dispersed in the slurry for both stages. The syncrude is refined into transportation fuels. Shenhua says its plant produces about 70% low-sulfur diesel fuel, plus naphtha and liquefied…
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