Alternative fuel projects often require substantial amounts of oxygen. World scale gas-to-liquids (GTL) processes based on the partial oxidation of natural gas, followed by Fischer-Tropsch chemistry and product upgrading, may require in excess of 10,000 tons per day of pressurized oxygen. The remote location of many of these proposed projects and the availability of low-cost natural gas and byproduct steam from the GTL process disadvantages the use of traditional, motor-driven air separation units in favor of steam or gas turbine drive facilities. Another process of current interest is the partial oxidation of waste materials in industrial areas to generate synthesis gas. Synthesis gas may be processed into fuels and chemicals, or combusted in gas turbines to produce electricity. A key to the economic viability of such oxygen-based processes is cost effective air separation units, and the manner in which they are integrated with the rest of the facility. Because the trade-off between capital and energy is different for the remote gas and the industrial locations, the optimum integration schemes can also differ significantly. This paper examines various methods of integrating unit operations to improve the economics of alternative fuel facilities. Integration concepts include heat recovery, as well as several uses of byproduct nitrogen to enhance gas turbine operation or power production. Start-up, control and operational aspects are presented to complete the review of integrated designs.

This content is only available via PDF.