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A method for producing liquid fuels includes the steps of gasifying a starting material selected from a group consisting of coal, biomass, carbon nanotubes and mixtures thereof to produce a syngas, subjecting that syngas to Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) to produce a hyrdrocarbon product stream, separating that hydrocarbon product stream into C1-C4 hydrocarbons and C5+ hydrocarbons to be used as liquid fuels and subjecting the C1-C4 hydrocarbons to catalytic dehydrogenation (CDH) to produce hydrogen and carbon nanotubes. The hydrogen produced by CDH is recycled to be mixed with the syngas incident to the FTS reactor in order to raise the hydrogen to carbon monoxide ratio of the syngas to values of 2 or higher, which is required to produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels. This is accomplished with little or no production of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. The carbon is captured in the form of a potentially valuable by-product, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNT), while huge emissions of carbon dioxide are avoided and very large quantities of water employed for the water-gas shift in traditional FTS systems are saved.


University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Lexington, KY (US)

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