The Oxford Catalyst Group’s new Customer Training Centre and gas-to-liquids (GTL) Pilot Plant, located at the group’s US-based subsidiary, Velocys, Inc., in Plain City, Ohio is officially open.

The event was attended by prospective customers, suppliers, partner organisations and the press alike, with visitors given the opportunity to tour the facility.

The integrated GTL facility includes microchannel Fischer-Tropsch (FT) and steam methane reforming (SMR) reactors developed by the Oxford Catalysts Group and marketed under the brand name Velocys, as well as a conventional SMR plant provided by the US Air Force.

It has been operating since 22nd March and is producing nearly one barrel per day of ultra-pure synthetic liquids and waxes.

Future plans include adding a microchannel hydroprocessor to the pilot plant to enable the production of finished fuels.

The GTL process is used to convert natural gas into high quality liquid fuels that are totally compatible with petroleum-based fuels. New GTL technologies are offering opportunities to make the most of underused gas resources in an environmentally friendly way, as well as offering environmental benefits, as recently highlighted by gasworld’s gasinsight feature (see link, right).

The Velocys Customer Training Centre and Pilot Plant will be used to test commercial plant configurations at commercially relevant operating conditions, as well as for customer operator training. The pilot plant augments the company’s previous field demonstrations, including one incorporating a nominal 25 bpd FT unit located at an integrated energy company.