HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Rome, Italy or Virtually from your home or work.
Ye Huang, Speaker at Catalysis Conferences
Ulster University, United Kingdom
Title : Techno-economic analysis of coal to liquids based on direct coal liquefaction technology


Direct coal liquefaction (DCL) is the conversion of coal in which coal is transformed into liquid hydrocarbon-based fuels through chemical reactions at elevated pressures and temperatures without being gasified to form syngas. The main objective of this paper is to carry out a comprehensive thermodynamic and economic evaluation for the DCL process based on the two primary conversion options under consideration: (a) Catalytic Coal Liquefaction (CCL) - the use of non-donor solvents with added hydrogen pressure; (b) Thermal Coal Liquefaction (TCL) - the use of solvents with some H-donor properties without hydrogen pressure and catalysts in the coal liquefaction reactor. For this purpose, steady-state process models for the DCL process are developed. The process modules address only the primary DCL processes and do not include any upgrading to transport fuels and chemicals as this will be conducted at refinery facilities by co-processing with petroleum fractions. To better understand the technical parameters and benefits of each scenario, a technical analysis has been conducted using the ECLIPSE modelling software. The overall cost estimation is carried out based on the cost of individual modules. The economic viability of catalytic and thermal direct coal liquefactions is also analysed in the paper.

Technical results showed that the oil yields (light and middle distillates) were around 1045 barrels per day from the CCL process and 745 barrels per day from the TCL process. Based on economic assumptions the light and middle distillate price would be €47.5/barrel with the CCL technology and €51.5/barrel with the TCL technology.

Audience Take Away:

  • Help audiences for understanding a clean and efficient Syncrude oil production technology.
  • Provide industries with new information and assistance to tackle the oil crisis.
  • Provide practical solutions which will benefit not only the coal industry but also a number of sectors encompassing the oil, water and waste industries. 


Prof. Ye Huang is a professor of Energy Engineering at Ulster University. He is a Member of the Energy Institute, a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He was awarded a PhD in Clean Coal Technologies in 1998 from Ulster University. He has specific technical expertise in carbon capture and storage, energy system modelling and fossil fuel power plant optimisation. He has 30 years’ experience with scenario analyses of fossil fuel combustion. He has wide experience in establishing multi-partner collaborative projects to develop and exploit fossil fuel and biomass/ waste technologies, covering all aspects of techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment studies. He has published more than 80 peer reviewed journal and conference papers.