Over the past few decades, a number of research institutes have developed GTL (Gas to Liquid) process as technology for exploration of shale gas and gas well, storage and transportation of gas products develops. Therefore, many researchers are paying attention to technology development of natural gas and its application. For this, CEPI Lab. is currently developing conceptual design of GTL-FPSO (Gas to Liquid- Floating Production Storage and Offloading) in collaboration with other research institutes including KIST (Korean Institute of Science and Technology), KOGAS (Korea Gas Corporation), DSME (Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd.), Sungkyunkwan University, Chonnam University, Changwon University and Myunji University, supported through project funding from Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
GTL process typically consists of three individual chemical processes: reforming, Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) and upgrading units. For the design of these three reaction system, the reaction mechanisms and kinetics were developed based on experimental results, and mathematical modelling of the reactors was embedded into the GTL process model. Furthermore, various technical methodologies to remove CO2 were considered, and design and operating parameters were optimized. Lastly, heat exchanger networks and utility system were optimized to maximize energy efficiency of the process, minimizing fuel consumption and CO2 release. CEPI Lab. has so far performed a number of case studies throughout a series of process development stages.
[Figure 1] Conceptual Flow Diagram of GTL-FPSO Topside Process
C4 alkenes are one of the most important industrial chemical products and used to produce synthetic rubbers, plastics, and other important chemicals. Transition metal oxides are traditionally used as catalysts to produce C4 alkenes from n-butane by oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH); however, metal-free carbon nanomaterials are attracting increasing research attention as catalysts for ODH due to their environmental benignity, corrosion resistance, and unique surface properties.
Therefore, CEPI Lab. has been working on catalyst development and design of optimized reactors for the production of butadiene since 2015 in collaboration with one of major Korean Petrochemical Companies. For this, CEPI Lab. developed a system to measure the reactant conversions and product selectivity ratios, and the catalytic performances of various types of catalysts. The experiments were carried out under a wide range of reaction conditions, and the reaction mechanism and kinetics were elucidated based on a Mars-Van Krevelen interpretation of the experimental results. CEPI Lab. is currently working on modeling of various types of reactors based on identified reaction mechanisms and kinetics, and expecting to develop an optimized reactor configuration and perform economic analysis by early 2018.
[Figure 2] (a) Configuration of experiment setting (b) Picture of catalytic reactor and product analysis system