Exporting Hydrocarbon to Ethanol Energy Conversion Technologies

by | Aug 17, 2012 | Industrial Energy & Onsite Utilities, Industry


A new process to convert hydrocarbon-based feedstocks to ethanol has been developed and being put to use in projects around the world. Emerson’s Alan Novak, leader of the alternative energy industry team, provides an update on these developments.

Emerson's Alan NovakLast week Doug Morris highlighted how the Ukraine is planning to leverage domestic coal reserves (some of the largest in the world) to improve both the price they pay for electric power and their overall energy security. The technology they will employ, coal gasification, will be supplied by China (along with some of the financing).

Source: EnergyInsights.net

Other countries around the world are looking at new technologies for similar reasons.

Source: NextBigFuture.com

Indonesia, which ranks 15th in terms of world coal reserves and 9th in terms of production volume, plans to improve both the security of its transportation fuel supply and to reduce automobile emissions by introducing an ethanol blended fuel.

Dallas, TX-based Celanese and Indonesia state owned oil company Pertamina recently announced a joint venture to produce ethanol for motor fuel using Indonesia coal and the newly commercialized Celanese TCX hydrocarbon to ethanol process.

The TCX process uses a new process to convert a variety of hydrocarbon feedstocks into ethanol at competitive costs:

Source: Celanese International Corporation

Source: Celanese International Corporation

China has also adopted the Celanese TCX process for the Nanjing coal to ethanol plant, which is scheduled to come on line in 2013.

The United States has the world’s largest coal reserves (as well as shale gas, as detailed in previous posts). Currently there are no TCX plants planned, and only two coal gasification power plants under construction in the US.

Will some of these technologies make their way back into the US market? Only time will tell.

Update: Thank you to the CreativeSafetySupply.com team for spotting some broken links & images. They have an informative 5S Program page, a framework that emphasizes the use of a specific mindset and tools to create efficiency and value.

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