How does this technology compare to the Conventional Fischer Tropsch Synthesis Technology?

Conventional FTS technologies make use of a pure oxygen feed with a large process recycle. This requires the inclusion of such capital intensive items such as cryogenic air separation and reformer units. These design features impact on not only the capital and operating costs of the process but also increase the CO2 emissions of the process. The elimination of this equipment permits a significant cost saving as well as a reduction in the CO 2 emissions by as much as 20%.


Why Fixed Bed?

There are many types of reactors that have been used in commercial and demonstration Fischer Tropsch (FT) synthesis. These all have different risks and benefits and these have to be weighed up in the context of the situation at hand. The two main types of reactors that are currently favoured in this application are fixed bed reactors and slurry reactors. The fixed bed reactors can be operated in either a “Dry Feed” or “Trickle Bed” mode. Prestige on the basis of their more than 15 years of experience with FT technology and their unique analytical methods have proposed that the first incarnation of the technology to be implemented makes use of a dry feed fixed bed reactor. Not only is this, in principle, the best reactor for the FT system but its design concept and translation for scale up is very well established. The implication for this for the investors in the project is that one can design such a reactor with a high degree of confidence that it will work as expected. Over and above this there are a number of manufacturers that have experience in manufacturing these type of reactors for similar situations, further mitigating risk. It should also be noted that when looking at the complete plant the cost of the reactor is a relatively small part of the total cost and so one should not expend effort and resources on minimizing reactor costs at the expense of the associated increased risk with a reactor such as a slurry phase reactor. In principle, these slurry reactors might be smaller reactors for the same production rate but the scale up and flexibility of operation of such units is highly problematic due to the current poor understanding and modelling competency of the hydraulics and associated vapour and liquid flows in these reactors.