Abstract

The paper deals with a review of the various existing processes for the production of Synthetic Pipeline Quality Gas production of Synthetic Pipeline Quality Gas from liquid hydrocarbons ranging from methanol through whole crude oil.

Commercialized processes covered include both catalytic gasification, thermal cracking and non-catalytic hydrogenation.

A brief discussion of the economics of the catalytic gasification process together with other potential applications for said process is also given. process is also given. In the United States today we are in the beginning of an overall energy shortage. While the causes and magnitude of this energy shortage are being debated at all levels of industry and government, the one fact generally accepted is that of all the energy sources, natural gas will feel the pinch first and most severely. This pinch first and most severely. This impending shortage of natural gas is the motivating force behind the renewed interest in production of gaseous fuels.

The development of processes for the commercial manufacture of fuel gas goes back at least two hundred years. One of the first processes was used in Philadelphia in 1796 to produce fuel gas for street lights. This process was based on coal gasification as were the majority of the early gasification processes. The gasification processes generally produced a product with a higher heating value of product with a higher heating value of below 500 BTU/SCF, which was referred to as "Town Gas". Originally the "Town Gas" was used for lighting and domestic heating only; but, as demand for electricity and industrial uses grew "Town Gas" production increased greatly. The development of the synthetic ammonia and methanol processes lead to the development of coal and coke gasification processes designed to produce the specific synthesis gases required.

"Town Gas" production was usually associated with the coal and steel industries. This was especially true in the United Kingdom and Europe. In the United States, an ever increasing amount of the energy requirements were supplied by petroleum products and "Town Gas" production came to a halt for all practical purposes in 1947, mainly because of practical purposes in 1947, mainly because of accelerated discoveries of natural gas reserves and development of an extensive nationwide pipeline distribution system. Europe too, after World War II, shifted to petroleum to meet the rapidly expanding energy demand. Domestic needs, however, were still supplied via "Town Gas".

In the early 1960's, with the development of the ICI high temperature naphtha-steam reforming process, which produced a 300 BTU/SCF gas, the United Kingdom's "Town Gas" industry shifted to a naphtha feed basis very rapidly. Initially LPG was used as the enriching gas; but, in the mid 1960's the British Gas Council developed a catalytic low temperature steam-naphtha gasification process, the CRG Process, which produced a high BTU gas suitable for use as the enriching gas in "Town Gas" production.

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