DIRPRIMCOAL - Direct Primary Coal Liquefaction via an Innovative Waste Co-processing Approach


The main goal of the proposed research is to improve the viability and environmental performance of direct coal liquefaction (DCL) by providing a framework where it can develop in the EU without the need for extremely large-scale plant and with a focus on low-rank and perhydrous coals that provide the highest conversions at lowest cost. The research will establish a distributed approach to DCL that will enable it to be introduced as a technology suitable for co-processing a variety of wastes, including plastics, tyres, biomass and bio-wastes which can thermally decompose into effective solvents. The results of the research programme will provide the basis for designing two specific DCL modules as the basis for pilot-scale operation, based on the use of solvents with hydrogen-donor capabilities and non-donor solvents with added hydrogen pressure. The main objective is the study of two primary conversion routes that will be investigated to optimise the use of wastes and co-feeds: (i) The use solvents with some H-donor properties without hydrogen pressure and (ii) The use of waste and non-donor solvents with added hydrogen pressure with means for in-situ generation being investigated. The primary liquefaction products will then be upgraded, using both catalytic cracking and hydrocracking processes for hydro-isomerisation of the naphtha produced from both processes. The aim is to produce intermediate heavy oil liquids obtained from heavy coal (biomass and wastes) to be co-processing with petroleum feedstocks in existing refinery facilities. Another aim is to achieve the reduction of CO2 emissions from co-processing a range of bio-wastes.

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