TITLE: Future Availability of Catalyst Metals for Synfuel Processes. Final Report.

AUTHOR: S. Mori;   A. D. McElroy.

INST.  AUTHOR: Midwest Research Inst., Kansas City, MO.

SPONSOR: Department of Energy, Washington, DC.


PUB.  TYPE: Technical Report

PUB.  COUNTRY: United States

SOURCE: Department of Energy [DE],  1982,  77p.



This report describes the investigation of the future availability of catalyst metals for the manufacture of synthetic fuels from coal, oil shale, and tar sands. The commercialization of various processes for producing synthetic fuels in terms of their impact on the consumption of catalyst materials was investigated, using a standard 50,000-BPD plant or a 300 million-SCFD substitute natural gas (SNG) plant as a basis for comparison. These results were then scaled up to national replacement levels of 6 million BPD synthetic crude oil and 10 billion SCFD of SNG. These figures would correspond to a 40% replacement of petroleum and a 20% replacement of natural gas at current consumption rates. The major catalyst metals required for a synthetic fuels industry would include cobalt, molybdenum, nickel, iron, chromium, and tungsten, with minor amounts of the platinum and rare earth group metals. Certain options were found to be at least technically feasible; molybdenum alone can be used to catalyze the direct liquefaction of coal, and an alloy of iron and titanium can be used as a methanation catalyst to replace nickel. Indirect liquefaction processes such as the Sasol technology (Fischer-Tropsch synthesis) or the Mobil MTG (methanol to gas) process need not employ critical metals as catalysts, although some Fischer-Tropsch catalysts are promoted with critical or precious metals. Of the processes studied, the indirect liquefaction and gasification (SNG) processes would have the least impact on critical metal supply because these processes can be operated with catalysts which do not contain critical metals. In current practice, only precious metals are reclaimed from waste catalyst. The development of a catalyst metal reclamation technology would, however, provide a wider choice of catalysts, particularly those containing precious or critical metals as promoters. 16 tables. (ERA citation 08:014228)