GM to test GTL-derived synthetic fuels

Detroit-based General Motors Corp. will test Syntroleum Corp.'s synthetic fuels, derived via gas-to-liquids processing, for advance power train systems, according to an agreement between the companies announced June 1.


Detroit-based General Motors Corp. will test Syntroleum Corp.'s synthetic fuels, derived via gas-to-liquids processing, for advance power train systems, according to an agreement between the companies announced June 1.

Tulsa-based Syntroleum holds proprietary rights to a process for converting natural gas into clean, synthetic oil and transportation fuels that are virtually free of sulfur, aromatics, and heavy metals. GM will test synthetic fuel properties relative to current and future engine designs for use in the US and Europe.

"Because synthetic fuels could some day play a role in the US and Europe, we are interested in better understanding their properties and advantages," said James Spearor, director of GM's chemical and environmental sciences laboratory. "The tests will be conducted as part of our power-train development program to further define the benefits of these fuels relative to our current and future engine designs."

Licensees of Syntroleum's process, which is designed for use in plants producing 2,000-100,000 b/d, include ARCO, Enron Corp., Kerr-Mcgee Corp., Texaco Inc., and USX-Marathon Group.

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