A variety of end products including jet fuel, gasoline, carbon anodes and heating oil may be possible using existing refineries and combinations of coal and refinery by-products, according to a team of Penn State researchers.
"One idea is based on the coal-to-jet fuel work that we have been doing for a long time," says Caroline E. Burgess Clifford, research associate at Penn State's Energy Institute. "Our aim is to integrate the processes and products into existing refinery structures and streams."
The coal-to-jet fuel work is in the pilot plant stage, but along with the jet fuel, the process produces other hydrocarbon products. For every eight barrels of a Jet A equivalent, the process produces a half barrel of fuel oil, one barrel of diesel and a half barrel of gasoline.
"We need to be sure that these components fit into the refinery stream that they are close enough in composition to be mixed with the components coming from crude oil," says Clifford.
So far, the researchers, including Harold Schobert, professor of fuel sciences; Maria M. Escallon and Utaiporn Suryapraphadilok, graduate students; Gareth D. Mitchell, Omer Gul, Josefa M. Griffith and Parvana Gafarova, research associates, Energy Institute, characterize the gasoline and fuel oil as fitting within the standard crude oil refinery stream. The diesel fuel is different from standard diesel fuel.
Other participants in this project tested the products in real units, including Andre Boehman, professor of fuel science and his group who tested the gasoline and diesel in engines; Bruce Miller, senior research associate and his group who tested the fuel oil in a pilot scale boiler; and Chunshan Song, director of the Energy Institute and professor of fuel science and his group who did related catalyst research.
"The produced diesel can be blended with the petroleum diesel without changing the fuel properties significantly," says Clifford. "It has not been shown to be bad or have
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