Natural Gas and other methane-rich gas streams, such as flare/associated gas, natural gas, and biogas, are examples of feedstocks that can be used in Maverick’s process. Commercially, relatively inexpensive steam reformers react methane with steam at high temperatures, producing a syngas with a relatively high hydrogen concentration. This syngas can be readily converted to methanol, though it includes too much hydrogen to be directly converted to olefins using Fischer-Tropsch olefin chemistry. For this reason, Maverick intends to initially produce a methanol intermediate with these feedstocks, even though it may produce an olefin intermediate with other feedstocks.
Many sources of methane-rich gas streams (including stranded gas, and anaerobic digesters found at dairy farms and landfills) are too small to justify setting up large commercial plants to produce final products. Traditional Fischer-Tropsch chemistry, performed using this type of syngas, produces a paraffin wax intermediate. This intermediate is difficult to ship, and it is cost-prohibitive to convert the intermediate to final products at the small scale. Accordingly, this chemistry is not amenable to locations where there are relatively small quantities of methane.
Fortunately for Maverick, it is relatively inexpensive to produce methanol, and relatively easy to ship the methanol either to a purchaser, or to a central “Hub” for conversion to higher-value products. There will be a relatively low capital cost to set up skid-mounted “Spoke” plants, since we only need to convert the methane to a transportable intermediate at the small scale. This will allow us to access sites which do not include sufficient methane for large-scale operations. It will also allow us to provide turn-key, cash flow-positive solutions to companies with limited feedstock supplies, and allow us to set up long-term contracts with these companies to supply our central hubs with methanol for final conversion to higher-value products.
The Maverick process accepts:
- Flare gas
- Natural gas
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