By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Sept. 30 -- Synthesis Energy Systems (SES), Houston, signed a technology licensing agreement with ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Co. (EMRE) that provides SES the option to execute up to 15 methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) licenses.
SES assigned the first license to a 7,000 b/cd unit at its U-Gas coal gasification project under development near Benwood, W. Va., where Consol Energy Inc. has a coal mine. SES and Consol are negotiating a joint venture agreement.
ExonMobil's MTG technology converts crude methanol directly to low-sulfur, low-benezene gasoline that can be sold directly or blended with conventional gasoline.
Although MTG technology originally processed methanol from natural gas, it can be used for methanol from coal, petcoke, or biomass.
The SES projects will gasify the coal, convert the synthetic gas to methanol, and convert the methanol to gasoline via the MTG process. Conversion of coal to gasoline through gasification and methanol conversion is one way to reduce potential pollutants from coal.
SES is investigating development of coal-based gasification facilities to replace domestic production of various industrial chemicals that has been shut down because of the high cost of natural gas.