The TIGAS process is an alternative method of producing gasoline from natural gases and associated gases. This technique of manufacturing gasoline was first discovered in 1973 by Haldor Topsoe when the oil prices had soared, but it later on lost popularity after the prices went down (McKetta, 1996). Nonetheless, with the frequent changes in oil prices and high demand for oil, the process has regained popularity.
One of the methods used in TIGAS is the syngas to gasoline (STG) method. A method that involves integrating the synthesis gases into one loop by first subjecting them to an oxygenated DME reactor and turning oxygenates into gasoline. The other method is the MTG method that uses methanol as an intermediary product (Bibby et al., 1988). At the initial stage, a pilot plant was established in Charleston because Kanawha River provided a good means of transport, there was good railway connection in the region and the region was better placed in terms of accessing raw materials.
The reactions involved in this process are as it follows
CO + 2H2 CH3OH
CO + H2O CO2 + H2
2CH3OH CH3OCH3 + H2O
n CH3OH n (CH2) + n H2O
n CH3OCH3 n 2(CH2) + n H2O (Haldor Topsoe 2015)
The diagram below demonstrates a typical TIGAS process
(Weitkamp, & Puppe, 1999)
In the gas cleanup and treatment chamber, the gas is cleaned and compressed into the system while in the MeOH/DME synthesis chamber the gas undergoes oxygenation process. On the other hand, in the gasoline synthesis chamber the intermittent catalyst is regenerated while in the separation chamber the products are separated into constituent products that include petroleum gas, tail gas, and gasoline (Bibby et al., 1988).
Bibby, D. et al. (1988). Methane conversion: Proceedings of a symposium on the production of fuels and chemicals from natural gas, Auckland, April 27-30, 1987. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Haldor Topsoe (2015). Gasoline synthesis.
McKetta, J. (1996). Encyclopedia of Chemical Processing and Design: Volume 56 – Supercritical Fluid Technology: Theory and Application to Technology Forecasting. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.
Weitkamp, J., & Puppe, L. (1999). Catalysis and zeolites: Fundamentals and applications. New York: Springer.