SynCat: 24/7 synfuel and catalysis research facility
SynCat is Australia's first fully automated, around-the-clock, synthetic fuels research facility.
22 September 2010 | Updated 14 October 2011
SynCat, CSIRO's Synfuel and Catalysis Research Facility is housed at the Australian Resources Research Centre in Perth, Western Australia.
The A$5 million facility's unique capabilities and flexibility in chemical processing are world class.
The facility can perform long-term testing of chemical processing conditions of natural gas and a range of other feedstocks. The facility's automated test rigs are able to run continuously and unmanned for 24 hours a day for months at a time, producing critical data for industry.
Equipment and laboratories
The facility has:
The SynCat facility can perform long term testing of chemical processing conditions of natural gas, coal, hydrogen and biomass.
- two fixed-bed reactor rigs (one with 1.5 L/min gas input capacity and the other with a 20 L/min gas input capacity)
- two Refiner Gas Analysers (RGA) for thorough gas analysis (permanent gas, hydrogen and light hydrocarbons)
- GC/GC-MS for hydrocarbons and oxygenates analyses
- wet laboratory for catalyst synthesis and sample preparation.
The SynCat facility's two reactor rigs can test a wide range of operating parameters including:
- temperatures up to 450 °C
- pressures of up to 50 bar
- catalyst volumes of up to 5g (test rig 1) and 40g (test rig)
The rigs enable the investigation of:
- reaction conditions
- reactor design
- catalyst design.
The rigs also perform a range of processes such as:
- synthetic fuels production and optimisation
- fuel upgrading.
The facility can produce synfuels from a range of feedstock including:
- natural gas
SynCat will develop the capability of gas-to-liquids research and improve chemical processing conditions as well as provide a training ground for Australia's gas processing industry.
Read more about CSIRO's Gas Processing and Conversion: facilities, expertise and services.