Ohio-based Battelle announced April 20 it has successfully demonstrated a technology process to convert coal to jet fuel. The hybrid, direct coal-to-liquids process using biomass-derived coal solvents has been developed through a cost-shared program backed by the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and the Ohio Development Services Agency’s Ohio Coal Development Office (OCDO). “The conversion of coal to syncrude is carried out at a relatively low pressure without requiring gaseous hydrogen or a catalyst,” Battelle officials said. “The syncrude can be upgraded to jet fuel and other distillates employing conventional petroleum upgrading technology.”
Battelle will now move to commercialize the process, which it said offers a substantial reduction in both capital and operating costs, and also a significant reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. “Our objectives are to demonstrate a straightforward path to near-term commercial production of jet fuel from coal using [these]…solvents,” added Satya Chauhan, the leader of Battelle’s process-development team that also includes other organizations across Battelle.