SINOPEC Engineering Group has teamed up with ExxonMobil’s Research and Engineering Company (EMRE) to work together on fluid bed methanol to gasoline (MTG) technology.

The companies will work together under a Cooperative Development Agreement (CDA), with a view to later commercialising a fluid bed version of MTG technology.

Through this agreement, EMRE and Sinopec Engineering will work to refine the fluid bed MTG process incorporating design updates that include technology developments since the original fluid bed MTG program was completed.

The groups then aim to globally licence the technology under the agreement.

Sinopec Engineering technical department director Xuejun Xiao said the companies aimed to develop a fluid bed MTG design that will cost significantly less to construct and operate.

“We want to significantly improve energy efficiency versus the fixed bed design,” he said.

EMRE has been working on MTG catalyst and process technology development since the 1970s, with the first fixed bed MTG unit to be operated commercially set up in New Zealand from 1985 until the mid-1990s.

EMRE manager of technology sales and licensing Vince Alberico said that ExxonMobil was looking forward to continuing its exploration efforts.

“Once the technology is successfully developed we anticipate it will have strong market competitiveness and broad marketability,” he said.

Pilot facilities have been constructed at SEG’s research facilities in Luoyang, Henan province, in China.