The Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process was first developed in Germany in the 1920's. It was used in Germany during WWII to make liquid fuels from coal. The FT process requires a feed stream consisting largely of carbon monoxide and hydrogen (also known as "syngas"). Thus, gasification is the first step inproducing fuels from biomass (bio-to-liquid, BTL). The FT process converts the feed gas into liquid organic compounds, carbon dioxide and water. The conversion takes place in the presence of a catalyst, usually iron (magnetite) or cobalt. The temperature, pressure and catalyst determine whether a light or heavy syncrude is produced. For example, at 330°C mostly gasoline and olefins are produced, whereas at 180 to 250°C mostly diesel and waxes are produced.
Small-scale Gas-To-Liquids: Proof of Principle
This process can be done on the small scale, as shown in this video: