Projects

Environmentally Responsible Energy Solutions

Projects to Commercialize the Charfuel® Process

Carbon Fuels Development, LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Carbon Fuels, LLC) has successfully operated Stage 1 of an 18 ton per day (TPD) Integrated Commercial Development Unit (ICDU) located at Hazen Research in Golden, Colorado, and is poised to complete Stage 2 in the fall of 2008. Stage 1 of the 18 TPD ICDU has proven that the process is technically viable and able of scale up to a commercial size of at least 500 TPD.  Hazen Research is serving as an independent third-party to validate the design and results/efficacy of the Charfuel® process.  Hazen is a globally recognized process R&D firm that has served the Mining, Metallurgical, Chemical and Process industries for nearly 50 years, including many FORTUNE 500 multi-national corporations. 

The next step in scaling up to commercial capacities is for Carbon Fuels Development, LLC to build, own and operate a 500 TPD Commercial Demonstration Facility. This 500 TPD Commercial Demonstration Facility represents a low-risk scale-up from the 18 TPD ICDU, and will be located on a brownfield site proximate an existing oil refinery.

The 500 TPD Commercial Demonstration Facility will later be expanded to 2,500 TPD by the addition of two 1,000 TPD Charfuel® reactor trains. Both the 500 TPD and 2500 TPD Commercial Demonstration Facility will qualify for federal R&D tax credits, as well as those for coal-derived fuels. This Commercial Demonstration Facility is designed to optimize the operation of critical commercial scale components of the Charfuel® Coal Refining Process prior to completing the final development phase which is the construction of full-scale 5,000 TPD Commercial Charfuel® Coal Refineries (producing about 350,000 gallons per day of transportation fuels (gasoline, clean diesel, and jet fuel), as well as home heating oil plus large volumes of petrochemicals. These facilities will also qualify for existing federal energy tax credits.

Carbon Fuels has the flexibility to:

  • License commercial Charfuel® plants
  • Joint venture Charfuel® plants with industry partners
  • Construct and operate Charfuel® plants as an owner/operator

18 TPD INTEGRATED COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT UNIT

Carbon Fuels’ 18 TPD Charfuel® ICDU is located at the Hazen Research facility in Golden, Colorado. Hazen’s research and development facility has in-place permits for operating R&D projects and pilot plants such as the ICDU. The site for the ICDU was selected because of its proximity to Carbon Fuels’ corporate headquarters and to independent laboratories for product characterization testing & analysis, plus the availability of on-site support facilities (coal handling, water, electric power, waste water treatment, etc.).

The ICDU was designed to maximize test objectives while minimizing capital and operating costs. The hydrocracker/partial oxidation (POX) integration inherent in the Charfuel® system was the focus of the pilot-scale operations with sufficient downstream apparatus to:

  • Assure design criteria for scale-up
  • Provide sufficient co-products for characterization and market analysis
  • Refine the process economics
  • Mitigate technical and economic risk in order to attain successful full commercialization in the shortest time

The 18 TPD ICDU generated mechanical design data, operating parameters, and the economics necessary for the construction of a 500 TPD Commercial Demonstration Facility. It also yielded sufficient technical and economic information in order to make commercialization decisions about the production of co-products, including petrochemicals.  The ICDU tests confirmed that the Charfuel® process produces market-compatible products that can be immediately sold through existing product distribution systems.

The 18 TPD ICDU includes all of the equipment, controls, instrumentation, data acquisition, etc. to meet the following test objectives:

  • Verify process improvements compared to previous process concepts
  • Collect all required process data and yield data necessary for developing reliable material and elemental balances
  • Create a database sufficient to determine overall process feasibility and to perform technical and economic optimization analyses

The 18 TPD ICDU has been conducted in two stages and integrated a commercial coal feed system, the Charfuel® hydrocracker, a POX unit, an oil recycle system, and a product collection system. Test runs have been performed at various hydrocracker temperatures, residence times, and hydrogen partial pressures to determine co-product yield and characterization data, as well as hydrocarbon liquid quality. The 18 TPD ICDU will remain operational to conduct optimization runs of various coal feedstocks as an integral part of the Charfuel® commercialization process.

500 TPD COMMERCIAL DEMONSTRATION FACILITY

Demonstrating the efficacy of the Charfuel® Coal Refining Process at 500 TPD—Carbon Fuels’ next major development step—will confirm the Charfuel® process’ ability to operate at a commercial scale.  Processing 500 TPD of coal will yield close to 35,000 gallons per day of liquid transportation and heating fuels plus petrochemicals. This 500 TPD Commercial Demonstration Facility represents a low-risk scale-up from the 18 TPD ICDU, and will be located on a brownfield site near an existing oil refinery. The 500 TPD Commercial Demonstration Facility will provide a slip stream of raw products to the refinery (to be further refined into liquid fuels and petrochemicals), thus reducing downstream capital costs and construction time for this first commercial-scale Charfuel® facility. (Subsequent commercial-scale Charfuel® projects can include all process equipment required to produce liquid fuels and petrochemicals without utilizing an oil refinery.) It can also be located next to a power generation facility, which would utilize the large volumes of char produced by the Charfuel® process as a clean-burning power plant feedstock. The 500 TPD Commercial Demonstration Facility will later be expanded to a 2,500 TPD Commercial Demonstration Facility by the addition of two 1,000 TPD Charfuel® reactor trains.

5,000 TPD COMMERCIAL CHARFUEL® COAL REFINERY

Full commercialization to 5,000 TPD (producing approximately 350,000 gallons of liquid transportation and heating fuels plus petrochemicals per day) will be done by scaling up from the 500/2,500 TPD Commercial Demonstration Facility. For an energy-based technology to be successfully commercialized on a large scale, several key criteria must be met, including:

  • An abundant, secure, low-cost feedstock must be available
  • The technology must be technically viable and versatile
  • Large, existing, and expanding markets must be available for all products produced
  • The technology must be economically viable, providing an attractive return to investors at competitive market prices for all products
  • The technology must meet stringent environmental regulations

The Charfuel® Coal Refining Process meets all of the above criteria. Moreover, commercialization and operation of the Charfuel® Coal Refining Process provides a unique opportunity to concurrently satisfy four important national goals:

  • Comply with clean air standards (without producing solid waste) by removing potential pollutants from the fuel, as well as capturing greenhouse gases during the production process
  • Reduce dependence on foreign oil through the efficient, economical utilization of coal—the most abundant domestic energy resource
  • Meet the challenge of economical power generation from cleaner-burning feedstocks (char) and/or power plants co-located with Charfuel® refineries
Improve the U.S. balance of trade by curtailing oil imports and creating a new coal-based export industry, while creating domestic jobs and promoting economic development based on a new refining industry

                   RENDITION OF A 5000 TPD Charfuel® PLANT

  1. COAL STORAGE (NOT SHOWN)
  2. COAL CONVEYOR
  3. GRINDING & DRYING
  4. PRE-TREATING & HYDROPYROLYSIS
  5. GAS PURIFICATION
  6. HYDROTREATING
  7. OIL-WATER SEPARATION
  8. SULFUR RECOVERY
  9. OIL PREPARATION & STORAGE
  10. METHANOL PRODUCTION
  11. CO-PRODUCT STORAGE
  12. AIR SEPARATION
  13. COOLING TOWER
  14. FLARE
  15. ADMINISTRATION BUILDING
Carbon Fuels, LLC
3600 S. Yosemite St. Ste 360, Denver, Colorado 80237, USA | PH: 303-468-5700 FAX: 303-468-5705 | EMAIL: info@carbonfuels.com
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