ARCO, Syntroleum start up pilot GTL plant

ARCO and Syntroleum Corp., Tulsa, have started up a 70 b/d pilot gas-to-liquids (GTL) unit at ARCO`s Cherry Point refinery in Bellingham, Wash. The unit has achieved initial operating targets, and an evaluation program is proceeding, says ARCO.The pilot plant is testing new reactor designs developed jointly by ARCO and Syntroleum and an improved high-performance Fischer-Tropsch catalyst developed by Syntroleum.Syntroleum`s GTL technology includes two proprietary processes: one for conversion of natural gas to synthesis gas (a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide), and one for conversion of synthesis gas to synthetic fuels or petrochemicals (OGJ, Dec. 30, 1996, p. 85). The first reactio...

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