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Microchannel reactors and processing

Thursday 3rd March 2011
A British and Portuguese biomass to liquids (BTL) demonstration plant located in Austria and using US technology, plans to gasify woodchips to syngas, then convert the syngas to liquid fuels inside a micro-channel Fischer-Tropsch reactor. As illustrated above, the same technology can turn natural gas into liquid fuels. Courtesy: http://alfin2300.blogspot.com/2010/05/award-winning-microchannel-fischer.html

Moves towards development of vast shale gas reserves in North America, increasing focus on the use of stranded and associated gas and growing interest in biomass-to-liquids (BTL) and waste-to-liquids (WTL) technology, need to develop distributed technologies as microchannel processing is more important than ever.

Microchannel reactors – compact reactors that have channels with diameters in the millimetre range -- lie at the heart of microchannel processing technology because they intensify chemical reactors, enabling them to occur at rates 10 to 1000 times faster than in conventional systems. 

Now R&D to enable commercialisation of microchannel processing technology is also set to intensify.  As part of its mission producing clean synthetic fuels from fossil fuels and renewable sources such as biowaste, the Oxford Catalysts Group has raised £21m via a share placing.

The money will enable the Group to expand development and testing infrastructure. It will also fund additional staff to support the technology development, and establish its commercial and manufacturing operations.

 A BTL demonstration that includes the Oxford Catalysts Group's microchannel Fischer Tropsch (FT) technology has been operating in Güssing, Austria since the summer of 2010, and demonstrations of the Group's microchannel steam methane reforming and FT technology for gas-to-liquids (GTL) are due to begin in the summer of 2011.

Roy Lipski, CEO, Oxford Catalysts Group said: "2011 looks set to be a very exciting year for the Oxford Catalysts Group. The additional funds will help us to accelerate the development and commercialising  of our technologies."

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