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Southern Research Institute Wins $1.5 Million Dept. of Energy Award to Economically Produce Liquid Fuels from Coal and Biomass

    Southern Research Institute Wins $1.5 Million Dept. of Energy Award to
       Economically Produce Liquid Fuels from Coal and Biomass Mixtures

PR Newswire

DURHAM, N.C., Jan. 7, 2013

Research could make new alternative coal fuel processes more environmentally
and economically competitive with petroleum-based processes

DURHAM, N.C., Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Southern Research
Institute today announced it has entered into a cooperative agreement with the
U.S. Dept. of Energy to test an innovative method for producing liquid
transportation fuels from coal and biomass thereby improving the economics and
lifecycle impacts of coal-to-liquid (CTL) and coal-biomass-to-liquid (CBTL)
processes. The novel approach eliminates the typical Fischer-Tropsch (FT)
product upgrading and refining steps and enhances the ability of CTL and CBTL
processes to compete with petroleum-based processes.

"We hope the project will advance CTL and CBTL processes by demonstrating a
cost-effective, novel FT catalyst that selectively converts syngas derived
from the gasification of coal and coal-biomass mixtures predominantly to
gasoline and diesel range hydrocarbons, thereby eliminating expensive
upgrading operations," said Dr. Santosh K. Gangwal, Southern Research
principal investigator. "We will evaluate the impact of adding moderate
amounts of biomass to coal on CBTL products and process economics, and compare
the carbon footprint of CBTL processes with petroleum-based fuel production
processes."

The Southern Research team includes research partners from Southern Company
Services and Nexant Inc. The project will implement a full coal and
coal-biomass to liquids bench-scale FT synthesis reactor system to produce
liquid transportation fuels using the selective, wax-free FT catalyst provided
by Chevron. Gangwal says the research team will use an existing demonstration
scale coal gasifier at the DOE's National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) in
Wilsonville, Ala.—an air-blown transport gasifier (also known as TRIG™)
operated by Southern Company Services—as the source of both coal and
coal-biomass derived syngas.

"If successful in reducing the production costs and environmental impact of
alternative fuel processes , this project could lead to commercialization of
CBTL processes, resulting in a decrease in U.S. dependence on foreign oil, new
jobs, and reduced fuel prices at the pump," said Tim Hansen, Director,
Advanced Energy and Transportation Technologies.

About Southern Research
Southern Research Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) scientific research
organization that conducts advanced engineering research in materials, systems
development, environment and energy, and preclinical drug discovery and
development. Southern Research has more than 520 scientific and engineering
staff that support clients and partners in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology,
defense, aerospace, environmental and energy industries. Headquartered in
Birmingham, Ala., Southern Research Institute has facilities/offices in
Wilsonville and Huntsville, Ala.; Frederick, Md.; Durham, NC; New Orleans,
La.; Houston, TX; and, Washington, DC.

CONTACT: Rhonda Jung
jung@southernresearch.org
205-337-9634

SOURCE Southern Research Institute

Website: http://www.southernresearch.org
 
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