The Gilberton Coal Liquefaction Project took another step foreword when it was revealed that essentially all of the fuel produced by the plant would be purchased under an agreement with the state of Pennsylvania. This follows an announcement in July that language in the Energy bill had authorized financing for the nation’s first clean coal-to-liquid fuel plant. Previously Waste Management and Processors, Inc., (WMPI) had announced agreements with SASOL to use their Fischer-Tropsch liquefaction process and with Shell Global Solutions U.S. for possible use of their gasification technology. In addition to Shell and SASOL the project team includes Nextant, a Bechtel Corporation affiliate and Uhde, an engineering company and Shell gasification technology supplier and contractor. Ground breaking is scheduled for next spring with operation to follow in 30 months.
A contract with DOE calls for construction of a $612,000, 5,000 bpd pilot plant financed by a $100,00 grant from DOE, loan guarantees from DOE, $47,000 investment tax credits from PA and revenue from sale of its products. The pilot plant will use 4,700 tons of coal waste (referred to a anthracite culm) to produces 5,000 gpd of fuel and 41MWe of electric power. The transportation fuels produced will be in the form of ultra-clean high-cetane diesel fuel from the FT process and will contain no sulfur or aromatics. The gasifier and following emissions control system will remove contaminants from the plant’s vent to very low levels, below today's standards. This stream will contain concentrated carbon dioxide which could be captured for sequestration, but funding for this was not included in this project. The gross plant efficiency is estimated to be about 45% based on the total energy input and considering the energy value of all of the plant’s products.
According to a Barrons article, John W. Rich president of WMPI, is talking about producing 2 million bpd by 2015.
A previous post describes the coal-to-liquids process.
Gilberton Coal-to-Clean Fuels and Power Co-Production Project, Project Facts, DOE
Ultra Clean Fuels, Waste Management and Processors, Inc., Gilberton, PA, website
"Hold on to Your Gas Cap; Coal-Based Fuel Is Near", Barrons, 9/17/05