2344.     MURPHREE, E. V.  Research and Development in the Oil Industry.  Petrol. Refiner, vol. 25, No. 10, 1946, pp. 161-162.

        The use of natural gas and coal as raw materials for gasoline in competition with crude oil is discussed and emphasis is put upon the application of the fluidized catalyst to the Fischer-Tropsch process.  The importance of using the fluidized catalyst is made evident by the great reduction possible in the number of reactors required for an equivalent production of liquid fuel.  For a plant to produce 10,000 bbl./day of synthetic hydrocarbons, using the German plant design, 128 reactors would be required having a cooling surface of 5,800,000 sq. ft.  By using a fluidized catalyst, it is possible to reduce the number of reactors to 4 and the total cooling surface to 250,000 sq. ft.  This means a great reduction in investment costs as well as a considerable decrease in maintenance and operating costs.  This use of catalyst in fluidized form in the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis is one of the outstanding advances in the oil industry.  Improvements also have been made in methods of producing synthesis gas.  One process being considered commercially for both natural gas and coal involves partial combustion with O2 to produce the CO-H2 gas mixture required.  In the case of coal, steam is used along with the O2.  From an economic standpoint, production of liquid products from natural gas using a modified Fischer-Tropsch operation appears reasonably attractive.  The cost of producing gasoline may be slightly lower than the cost of production of gasoline from crude oil.  There is, however, a substantially higher investment involved in the production from natural gas.  A plant to produce about 9,000 bbl./day of gasoline along with 1,800 bbl. of gasol from coal, using the fluidized technique, is estimated to cost $42,000,000.  In addition to the gasol and gasoline produced, about 40,000,000 cu. ft. of gas/day of 1,000 B.t.u. would be produced.  Crediting this at $0.25/1,000 cu. ft. and the gasol and certain chemicals at a suitable figure, then the cost of gasoline based on coal at $2.50/ton comes roughly to $0.0725/gal., a cost not greatly exceeding that of a similar grade gasoline from crude oil at present crude prices.