Technoeconomic modelling of coal conversion processes for liquid fuel production

  • Mark Anders

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Since the oil crisis of 1973 considerable interest has been shown in the production of liquid fuels from alternative sources. In particular processes utilizing coal as the feedstock have received considerable interest. These processes can be divided into direct and indirect liquefaction and pyrolysis. This thesis describes the modelling of indirect coal liquefaction processes for the purpose of performing technical and economic assessment of the production of liquid fuels from coal and lignite, using a variety of gasification and synthesis gas liquefaction technologies.
The technologies were modeled on a 'step model' basis where a step is defined as a combination of individual unit operations which together perform a significant function on the process streams, such as a methanol synthesis step or a gasification and physical gas cleaning step.
Sample results of the modelling, covering a wide range of gasifiers, liquid synthesis processes and products are presented in this thesis. Due to the large number of combinations of gasifier, liquid synthesis processes, products and economic sensitivity cases, a complete set of results is impractical to present in a single publication.
The main results show that methanol is the cheapest fuel to produce from coal followed by fuel alcohol, diesel from the Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis process,gasoline from Mobil Methanol to Gasoline (MTG) process, diesel from the Mobil Methanol Olefins Gasoline Diesel (MOGD) process and finally gasoline from the same process. Some variation in production costs of all the products was shown depending on type of gasifier chosen and feedstock.
Date of AwardMay 1991
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorTony Bridgwater (Supervisor)


  • coal
  • gasification
  • modelling
  • economics
  • fuels

Cite this