05 November 2012
Posted in Center Information
This research focuses on converting Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to liquid fuels using Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS). The process includes conversion of MSW to landfill-derived gases and further conversion of the hydrocarbons to syngas via a tri-reforming process which involves a synergetic combination of CO2 reforming, steam reforming, and partial oxidation. Typical biomass or MSW-derived syngas H2:CO is 1:1. This innovation allows for cost-effective one-step production of syngas in the required H2:CO of 2:1 for use in the FTS. The USF group has already developed a process that converts this syngas into diesel and jet fuel. Through extensive experimentation, an optimum catalyst formulation was chosen and thoroughly tested using a variety of reaction conditions and catalyst characterization techniques. It was found that lower than previously reported steam concentrations could effectively reform crude MSW-derived syngas to produce desired H2:CO ratios required for FTS using the catalyst presented here. This work proves that a cost effective tri-reforming process can be implemented for the reduction of landfill waste, converting crude biomass-derived syngas and landfill gas to high quality, sustainable, liquid transportation fuels.