Dash fuels synthetic diesel focus

07 May, 2011 08:55 AM
Fuelling up for the trans-continental journey.
Fuelling up for the trans-continental journey.

A JUST-completed 6,000km dash across Australia has involved a VW diesel Polo running on fuel derived from underground coal gasification (UCG) and gas-to-liquids (GTL) processing.

The initiative, based on combining two proven technologies to produce synthetic diesel, saw CEO, Linc Energy, Peter Bond, recently drive from Chinchilla (Qld) to Perth (WA)as part of a first step towards creating a commercial, clean diesel operation in Australia.

UCG converts deep stranded coal into a syngas using heat, pressure and an oxidant, without removing the coal from the ground, according to Mr Bond.

The syngas is retrieved through a well and piped to a plant where the GTL process produces synthetic diesel for use in any diesel engine without modification.

Before setting out on his Australia-wide proving drive, Mr Bond said the syncrude made at the Chinchilla Demonstration Facility was sent overseas for refinement and testing.

Linc Energy says once it finishes its economy trials with the VW Polo it will publish the results. Interim, it says it achieved a best kilometre/litre of 20kms/litre (57mpg) and an average kilometre/litre of 16.50 km/litre (47mpg) on its 6062km (3,750 mile) journey.

“We have now proven we can make ultra-clean diesel from coal using UCG and GTL,” Mr Bond said, adding this was the first goal and milestone in Linc Energy’s plan.

“It’s now time to take the next steps towards creating a commercial GTL (clean diesel) operation in Australia, and indeed other locations around the world,” he added.

Linc Energy says it is transitioning into an integrated energy company where oil, coal and gas will play a big role in its future.

* Visit www.lincenergy.com

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8/05/2011 3:14:28 AM

Graham Fuller, how on earth can this fuel be called, "ultra-clean diesel"? It is still a fossil fuel any way you look at it. The only way I can imagine that it is "ultra-clean diesel" is that maybe it doesn't clog up the diesel engine injectors. The process is is a minor variation of the old Fischer-Tropsch process which has been around for about a hundred years. At least the Fischer-Tropsch process can be considered as "clean" when the inputs are from renewable sources such as forestry wood waste and the end products from the process are not only fuel, but also biochar. This article is deeply misleading as to the merits of the product, which, during the making of the syngas, has the nasty potential of stuffing up our aquifers. "ultra-clean diesel"? Pull the other one.
9/05/2011 7:58:34 AM

Trugger: the "ultra clean" applies to the product, not the process. Gas-to-liquids uses a narrow range of gases to make a product whose composition can be much more controlled than what can be obtained from the distillation of crude oil. The same method gives us the synthetic engine oils that are superior to conventional oils. The process can be very dirty, and keeping the lid on this is a regulatory task.


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